Fertility Treatments » Sperm Donation
What is sperm donation?
One in six couples seeks medical help to achieve a pregnancy and, for some, treatment with donated sperm is their only hope of conceiving a baby.
Although sperm donation is established as a form of assisted conception, recent years have seen a fall in the number of donors and there’s a national shortage of sperm for fertility treatment.
To help our patients, Bourn Hall Clinic has its own sperm bank and there is no waiting list. While it’s been successful in attracting donations, we still need additional donors if we’re going to help more couples who face difficulties conceiving.
Donors are reimbursed for their expenses at the rate of £35 per visit. Alternatively you may pass on the benefit of a free cycle of IVF to a family member or friend that you would like to nominate who needs fertility treatment once your donation is completed.
Why is there a need for sperm donation?
There are a number of reasons explaining the need for donated sperm. These include:
- Cancer treatment, vasectomy, injury, or other male fertility factors resulting in there being no sperm in the partner’s semen
- An inherited disease, such as haemophilia or Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, putting the life of a resulting baby at risk
- Incompatible blood types e.g. if the female partner is Rhesus (Rh) sensitised and the male partner is Rh positive, the pregnancy is potentially problematic
- Providing treatment for single women or female same-sex couples
Who can donate sperm?
Healthy men aged 18-40 can become sperm donors. You may wish to use a relative or a donor who’s known to you, and this is acceptable if all parties agree to the arrangement.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) allows a payment of £35 to sperm donors each time they visit the Clinic, to help cover the cost of expenses. Alternatively you may pass on the benefit of a free cycle of IVF to a family member or friend that you would like to nominate who needs fertility treatment. Current British law allows us to create up to 10 families from one sperm donor.
We screen all donors to ensure they’re free of infections, diseases or genetic conditions that might be transmitted. We ask them about their medical and family history, and perform a medical examination and blood tests.
What happens at the Clinic?
Every donor who attends Bourn Hall Clinic has the opportunity to meet one of our consultants, to discuss any aspect of the donation process.
Before you donate, we’ll perform a physical examination, as well as blood and urine tests. As a matter of procedure, we ask all of our male patients to provide a semen sample. The Clinic has a suite of special rooms designed to put you at ease.
If your semen sample shows that the sperm is of a sufficiently high quality, we’ll ask you to provide 10 to 15 samples over a period of time. These will be prepared and stored for later use.
We rigorously screen all of the sperm samples we collect, and then freeze and quarantine each sample for six months. After this time, we’ll invite you back to the Clinic to repeat the blood tests.
For patients receiving donor gametes or embryos who are unmarried or not in a civil partnership it is important to ensure that the legal parenthood of both parties is properly established. The HFEA have produced a comprehensive and easy to follow guide which you can download here.
If you would like to know more about sperm donation please visit our Bourn Hall Donor Programme website or call us on 01954 717521.
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