Sperm donation can be either altruistic in return for expenses incurred, or via our sperm sharing scheme, which enables a couple to receive one funded* IVF treatment cycle in exchange for the male partner becoming a registered sperm donor (*excluding drugs and HFEA fee).
There is a growing need for donated sperm in the UK, for the heterosexual couples, single ladies and same-sex couples, all who require assistance to help turn their dreams of becoming parents into reality.
At the Herts & Essex Fertility Centre, we operate our very own sperm bank and would be interested to hear from anyone considering donating their sperm altruistically, or as part of our sperm-sharing scheme.
How do I donate sperm?
All men between the ages of 18 and 41 are eligible to consider sperm donation. Your first step would be to make a consultation appointment with one of our fertility consultants. We would ask that you have completed a sperm donor health questionnaire in advance of this appointment. We will also require a semen sample on the day of your appointment to assess your suitability for donation. Prior to this appointment, we ask that you abstain from intercourse/ejaculation for three days.
Should you decide to proceed with sperm donation we would need to complete consent forms as part of the registration process with our regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), as well as conduct a number of screening tests to ensure the samples you donate are safe for any recipients who will later use them. These screening tests are performed by taking urine and blood samples from you. When we register your details, we will make note of your physical characteristics, for example, your height, hair and eye colour, as well as your ethnicity and religion, occupation and interests/skills. Patients choosing a sperm donor can only be told this limited information to assist them in selecting their sperm donor.
Becoming a sperm donor does require dedication, so you do need to consider carefully if this is something you can commit to and your proximity to the clinic. Most of our donors will make approximately 10 visits to the clinic over a 20-week period to donate. Each sperm sample is frozen and stored in quarantine for a minimum period of 6-months, and thereafter we will need you to return to the clinic for re-screening. This will confirm that you are still infection-free, and your samples are safe to be used for our patients.
What else do I need to know and consider?
You will be required to see our independent counsellor who will talk you through all of the implications you/and your partner will need to consider about donating your sperm to others.
The only people that will be informed of your donation are the HFEA and our staff here at the clinic. You will be recorded as a sperm donor on the HFEA register and any client using your sperm will have their treatment and any resulting outcome recorded on their register. The HFEA now require all those donating sperm to be identifiable to any children born as a result of their donation. This means the child will able to make contact with the donor if they wish to when they reach the age of 18. You will not be considered a legal parent or be financially responsible for any child born from your donation. The HFEA has set a maximum limit of ten families which can be created using donated sperm; this is to prevent the risk of accidental consanguinity between donor-conceived people
Am I entitled to be compensated for the donation of my sperm?
All altruistic sperm donors can be compensated £35 per donated sample, in accordance with guidelines set by the HFEA. The maximum amount that any sperm donor can claim is a total of £750.
Sperm sharers can embark on their funded treatment cycle following the six-month re-screening period after their last donation, or should you wish to commence your treatment immediately, you have the option of paying upfront and being reimbursed following satisfactory re-screening.
Your next steps
If you would like more information on becoming a sperm donor, please call Caroline Cayley on 01992 78 50 64 or Sarah Robinson on 01992 78 50 65, or you can email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.