Why not consider sperm sharing in return for free IVF treatment!

As many people will be aware egg sharing has been a popular treatment option for numerous women young enough to share their eggs, who also need IVF/ICSI treatment themselves. This offers the sharer a good chance of success while at the same time helping another woman/couple who need donor eggs to fulfill their aspirations of becoming parents. We have been successfully running (click here to see our latest results) our egg sharing programme for those women meeting the criteria and who are under 36 years of age at the since 2008. We have outstanding results for both donors and recipients, with egg sharers receiving free IVF* (*fees are only applicable for any embryo freezing/ICSI which are both discounted). Fewer people are probably aware of sperm sharing however, which works in a similar way, whereby a male with normal semen parameters can help other couples requiring donor sperm to create their family, while receiving one heavily discounted treatment cycle* for their own treatment (*free standard IVF cycle price excluding drugs for female partner).

If you wish to become a sperm sharer there are a number of requirements to be fulfilled. Firstly, you will need to be under the age of 45 at the time of donation. You will also require satisfactory medical screening to ensure your sperm is safe to be used for other couples; this includes mandatory screening that all couples undergo prior to treatment plus some additional tests.

Before you commence your sperm donation you will also require an appointment with our counsellor to discuss the process of donation and what it entails, and to ensure you have considered the implications of donating your sperm. This is especially important since our regulating body, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) now require all egg and sperm donors to be identifiable to any children born as a result of their donation, with the child able to make contact if they wish when they reach the age of 18.

If you meet the above criteria and wish to proceed on the sperm sharing programme you will be required to make a number of visits to the unit so we can freeze the samples for later use; on the first of these appointments you will also need to fill out some consent forms for the HFEA with whom you will then become registered.  All donor sperm must be quarantined for a period of 6 months following the banking of your samples. 6 months later you will need to return to have some repeat blood screening. This again acts to safeguard any potential recipients who will later use your sperm. It is estimated you will need to make 6-8 visits to freeze sperm samples; these would all need to be provided within 3 months of embarking upon the sharing programme.

Sperm sharing is becoming more widely known in the fertility world but is still not offered in the majority of UK clinics. Sperm sharing does require commitment from the male partner to attend the clinic for a number of visits, so you do need to first consider carefully if this is something you can commit to and your proximity to the clinic.

Should you wish to find out more information on sperm sharing or egg sharing, please contact our sharing and donation nurse on 01992 78 50 65 or email sarah.robinson@hertsandessexfertility.com – we will be very happy to talk to you. Not only does sharing your eggs or sperm offer you vast financial savings on your treatment, it can also be a very rewarding process to know you are potentially turning someone else’s dreams of becoming a parent into reality.

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