Donor Sperm Banking
Donor Sperm Banking
Why are sperm donors needed?
Forty per cent of women of infertile couples are unable to
conceive because of abnormality or absence of sperm in their
partner's ejaculate. Artificial insemination using donor semen is
the only method of treatment available to these couples who wish to
have a family. In many centres, the limiting factor is the
availability of suitable donors and therefore most clinics are
grateful for offers from men wishing to be semen donors.
What are the donor requirements?
All potential semen donors who intend to begin the process of
donation must first meet certain eligibility criteria as described
in the UK guidelines for the medical and laboratory screening of
sperm, egg and embryo donors (2008) and the HFEA 8th code of practice.
Some of the criteria are that the donor must:
- Be aged between 18 and 41.
- Be proven to be negative for infectious diseases including (but
not limited to) HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B and C and
- Be fit and healthy.
- Have no known inheritable disorder or serious medical
How to start the process:
If you think that you meet the eligibility criteria to become a
sperm donor, you can contact Andrology for further information by
telephone (0161 276 6473) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to previous experience with hoax calls it is important that
we avoid giving information over the phone so information about
becoming a sperm donor, screening tests and the donor questionnaire
is either posted out or emailed to you.
When you have read the information, if you wish to proceed,
complete the Sperm Donor Questionnaire and include a passport sized
photograph on the form. Then return to Andrology by post at
Andrology Laboratories, Department of Reproductive Medicine, Old
Saint Mary's hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL or email it
When your completed questionnaire has been received by Andrology
an appointment letter will be sent out to you.
What happens at the first appointment?
On the day of your appointment, you will be asked to produce a
semen specimen by masturbation into a container, which we will
provide, using one of our private rooms. There are some
pornographic magazines available in the rooms but we do not have
any pornographic DVDs or internet access. You may bring your own
material with you to the appointment if you wish.
Please abstain from intercourse or masturbation for between 2
and 7 days (3-4 days is best), prior to this appointment. This
sample will be frozen and then thawed to see if it would be
suitable for use in artificial insemination treatment.
Potential donors must be aware that after examination, a
proportion of semen samples will fail to fulfil all the required
criteria, but in the majority of cases this has no bearing on your
Blood and urine samples are also taken for preliminary screening
Following these tests (the blood results can take up to 6 weeks)
a doctor will look at your results and you will be sent either a
counselling or a doctor's appointment.
These results will determine if you meet our eligibility
criteria to donate your sperm. These results will
only be available at your doctor's clinic
Which tests will a donor have before he is
By law, all donors must have blood screening tests for HIV
antibodies (AIDS), HTLV and Hepatitis B & C. Other blood
screening tests include Syphilis, Cytomegalovirus and Cystic
fibrosis. The donor's blood group will be determined and there will
be a chromosomal analysis. Donors are also screened for Gonorrhoea
Contacting your GP regarding sperm
Your agreement to contacting your GP for clarification of any
specific details in your medical history may be sought.
How many visits will I have to make to the
If you were accepted as a donor you would be required to attend
the Andrology laboratory for about ten/fifteen appointments,
usually at weekly intervals. Please be aware that these
appointments are morning appointments, Monday to Friday.
You will need to return to the Department of Reproductive
Medicine for blood tests six months after you have completed the
course of sperm donation.
For donors that produce their samples offsite DNA profiling will
be used to ensure that each sample received is from the intended
donor and has not been contaminated or tampered with en-route to
the laboratory at Saint Mary's hospital.
A blood sample for this test will be taken during the donor's
first appointment and a small amount of semen from the sample
produced onsite for the test freeze/thaw will also be retained for
Information you must disclose
You must inform the laboratory if you are taking any medicines
or tablets, or have had any injections whilst you are attending the
Sperm Bank, or within the previous 6 weeks leading up to your first
appointment. You must inform us of any illnesses or any lifestyle
changes whilst you are attending the Sperm Bank.
In accordance with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology
Authority Guidelines, all semen samples must be cryopreserved for
at least 180 days to enable a follow up blood screening tests to be
performed on the donor's behalf and for the donor to be re-examined
to exclude the development of any possible sexually transmitted
disease, at the completion of banking.
Since April 2012 the HFEA have allowed sperm donors to be
compensated by £35 per clinic visit.
How is the semen stored?
Semen samples are stored in small, sealed bottles (ampoules) in
liquid Nitrogen vapour. These ampoules are carefully labelled with
your donor code, date of birth and date of freezing. A second
member of staff verifies the details. Freezing needs to take place
as soon as possible after the sample is produced. By law the
samples can be kept up to 10 years from the date they were
The HFEA - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority - is the
body that regulates fertility treatment in the UK. All semen donors
have to be registered with the HFEA. Donors can stipulate how many
families they are willing to create, up to a maximum of 10
families. For more information regarding the HFEA please see their
Legal and Financial Situation Re
You have no legal or financial obligations to any child created
from your donation. The people who receive the donation will bethe
legal guardians of any child that is born.
When can any offspring contact the HFEA?
When the child reaches 18 they can contact the HFEA for:
The donor's full names (and any former names)
The donor's date of birth and the town or district where
The donor's last known postal address (or their address recorded
at the time of registration)
The donor's NHS number
The donor will be informed by the HFEA that enquiries have been
made about them.
Will the donor be held responsible if a child born from
donation is disabled in any way?
No. However, it is your responsibility to inform us of any
genetic or inheritable diseases which present themselves in your
immediate family. Failure to do so is an offence and it is the
right of any child resulting from this to sue the clinic for
damages. The court might require the HFEA to disclose the donor's
identity under the Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liabilities) Act
What information will the recipient be given about the
All information will be non-identifying. An attempt will be made
to match donor and recipient physical characteristics.
What information will the donor be given about the
No information is given about the recipient. You may however ask
whether your sperm has produced pregnancies and how many
If you have any questions before, during or after your donation
you can contact our staff who will be happy to discuss them with
Sperm donation email address
Counsellors: Anne Curley or Bev Loftus 0161 276
Andrology laboratory 0161 276 6473
- Infectious diseases screening leaflet
- Cystic fibrosis screening leaflet
- Criteria for acceptance of sperm donors
- HFEA leaflet on donating sperm
- HFEA leaflet on what's involved in donation
- Sperm donor information flowchart
- Important information for donors
- Sperm donor enquiry questionnaire
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