Why we need your help
Approximately 2000 children a year are conceived using donor gametes, yet there is still a national shortage of sperm donors. Donation is needed for men who cannot produce sperm (due to genetic conditions, surgery, cancer and many other reasons), single women or same sex female couples. BFA donors can be used by 10 families worldwide.
Be between the age of 21 and 45 years
Have no known serious medical conditions or family history of hereditary disorders
Not have donated at any other centres
What is the process to become a donor?
Complete our initial donor enquiry form or phone us. We will send you further information and arrange an initial appointment with you.
2. First appointment
An informal chat with a BFA staff member to discuss the donation process, complete some medical and family history and use the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. You may also produce a sample for analysis if you feel comfortable to do so.
3. Second appointment
Next, you will see the consultant to discuss medical history in more detail. If everything is acceptable you will also have your first screening test (saliva test for genetic testing). The results will be reported in 4-6 weeks.
4. Further testing
You must have blood and urine screening tests. Results are usually reported within a week.
5. Start donating
You may then start donating. We will complete consent forms at the first appointment. Donation cycles are usually 3-12 months depending on your availability.
6. Final donation
You must have final clearance blood tests at 3 and 6 months after your last donation to allow your samples to be released for use.
Are there any reasons why I can’t be a donor?
The following may exclude you from donation:
- If you are adopted
- Those who are intravenous drug users
- If you participate in risk behaviour
- If you have donated at another centre
- If you have any serious medical conditions
- If your sperm count is not suitable following analysis
- If your screening tests show any positive tests
Can I find out information about children born from my donations?
It is your choice if you would like this information. You are entitled to ask if there have been any successful pregnancies with your sperm. You are able to ask for: the number of children born, their year of birth and their sex.
Do I get compensation for my donations?
As a donor you can be compensated £35 per donation in line with HFEA regulation. You will be given £10 at every visit and £25 from each donation saved and given to you in a lump sum at the end of the donation process once your samples are cleared for use.
What times can I make appointments for donation?
We are open 9.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday. However, we understand that sometimes work can limit your availability in these times. We can sometimes offer early (from 7am) or late appointments (between 5.30pm-7pm).
Am I anonymous to children born?
UK donors are not anonymous. Donors will be registered with the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) and must consent to identifying information being held on the register. Children born from donation are entitled to apply to the HFEA for identifying information after they reach the age of 18. Potential patients and children born from donations under the age of 18 can see non-identifying information such as physical characteristics, personality traits and questions about you. Donors also write a goodwill message and personal statement.
What legal responsibilities do donors have to children born from donation?
The Law states that HFEA licensed sperm donors have NO legal or financial responsibility for any child conceived using their sperm.
Can I change my mind?
You can change your mind at any time but you must let BFA know in writing. If you have started donating, you are entitled to withdraw your consent for the use and storage of your sperm samples at any stage during the donation process – up until the point at which the samples are used. Withdrawing consent must be done in writing and we will discuss the implications of withdrawal at a late stage if patients have already begun treatment.
What if something comes up in my screening tests?
Sometimes donors cannot donate due to positive results that come up in tests. We have referrals and specialist counselling services in place for these scenarios. We can also send any results directly to your GP.
The genetic screening in particular covers over 270 genetic conditions. It is good to be aware that it is quite common to be a carrier for something. Results are looked at on a case-by-case basis and if something does come up and the condition is very rare or manageable this will not necessary stop you from being a donor.
What happens in the semen analysis prior to donation?
All donors must have a semen analysis prior to seeing the consultant. This must be on-site at BFA and is in a comfortable, private room. The results will be reported to you directly either the same day or next working day depending on appointment time.
Donors must have sperm parameters that are above average and therefore sometimes people aren’t always suitable. We will discuss results with you and refer you on to the relevant specialist if need be. Sometimes sperm parameters can fluctuate due to a number of different reasons (such as: stress, illness etc.) and therefore you may be asked to repeat the analysis if the results suggest this is suitable.
How long will I be donating for?
You will usually donate anywhere between 3-12 months depending on how often you visit us. We aim for approximately 20-30 donations in total, sometimes this may be less. You can have breaks from donation at any time.
Further information and Support
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority www.hfea.gov.uk
The SEED Trust (Previously: National Gamete Donation trust) http://seedtrust.org.uk/
Donor conception network www.donor-conception-network.org
British Infertility Counselling Association www.bica.net
UK Donorlink www.ukdonorlink.org.uk
Infertility Network UK www.infertilitynetwork.com