Donor Sperm Banking
Why are sperm donors
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
What are the donor's requirements?
Donors should be between 18 and 41 years of age. Donors are
required to be fit and healthy. They should have no serious
medical disability and their families should be free from any known
inherited disorder. It is preferable that they are of proven
fertility, but this is not essential.
What happens at the first appointment after you have
been initially accepted?
Your first appointment at the Department of Reproductive
Medicine will take up most of the morning. You will need to
bring with you photographic identification such as
a passport or driving licence,
and proof of address such as a utility bill. You will also need to
bring your NHS number. You will be required to
produce a semen specimen for analysis and test freeze/thaw.
The doctor will take a full medical history and arrange screening
tests. You will also be seen by a counsellor to discuss sperm
donation. Your partner may attend the consultation.
Donor Semen Analysis
Please abstain from sexual intercourse or masturbation for
between 2 and 7 days (3-4 days is best), prior to your
appointment. You will produce your semen sample by masturbation in
a private room in the Andrology laboratories. Potential
donors must be aware that after examination a proportion of semen
specimens will fail to fulfil all the required criteria but in the
majority of cases this has no bearing on your potential
Which tests will a donor have before he is
By law, all donors must have blood screening tests for HIV
antibodies (AIDS) 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 and
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 Monday to Friday.
You may wish to attend one of our spoke hospitals to donate or
you may be eligible to donate from home. This can be discussed at
your first appointment which must take place at the Department of
Reproductive Medicine, Old Saint Marys Hospital.
You will need to return to the Department of Reproductive
Medicine for blood tests six months after you have completed the
course of 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 St Mary's.
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.
The new HFEA policies allow centres, from 1 April 2012, to
compensate sperm donors £35 per clinic
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 be the
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
Counsellors: Anne Curley or Bev
Loftus 0161 276