Sperm banks can be helpful tools when it comes to planning your family and conceiving a child. Whether you are looking to build your family or become a sperm donor yourself, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about sperm banks in the UK.

How Do Sperm Banks Work in the UK?

Sperm banks are clinics that collect sperm samples from donors and provide them to women who wish to become pregnant. Sperm banks in the UK are regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (HFEA) of 1990. The HFEA regulates the procedures, practices, and personnel involved in fertility treatments.

 

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Who Can Be a Sperm Donor in the UK?

There are several requirements for a man to be accepted as a sperm donor in the UK. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the agency that regulates who can be a sperm donor in the UK. In 2008, they published guidelines about the requirements of being a sperm donor in the UK.

Based on these requirements, to become a sperm donor you must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 46
  • Consent to screening for any medical conditions
  • Be free of any serious medical conditions or sexually transmitted infections
  • Be in good health
  • Produce high-quality sperm
  • Display information on your medical history
  • Not use drugs
  • Consent that your identity can be released to any of your biological children when they reach the age of 18
  • Provide a valid form of identification
  • Be able to contribute time to the sperm donation process

One of the most important factors that the HFEA considers is the donor’s genetic and medical heritage. Potential donors must undergo a physical and genetic evaluation. This includes providing a detailed family history as well as the examination of the donor’s sperm under a microscope. The HFEA is concerned with ensuring that the donor’s sperm is healthy, genetically normal, and capable of fertilizing an egg.

Do You Get Paid to Donate Sperm in the UK?

The short answer is no. In the UK, sperm donation is encouraged as a selfless act. In other words, you do not receive any financial compensation in return for donating your sperm. With that said, many clinics will offer up to a £35 stipend to cover any costs incurred by traveling to their clinic and taking time out of your day to donate sperm. Another benefit of donating sperm is that you will undergo a free health screening to ensure that you are fit to be a sperm donor.

How Many Families Can Use a Particular Sperm Donor?

According to the HFEA, sperm that is donated from a particular donor cannot be used by more than 10 families, with no limit on the number of children that are born within each family. With that said, as a sperm donor, you can choose to set a lower limit. On average, less than 1% of sperm donors will go on to create 10 families. In fact, most donors will only contribute to one or two families with up to two children in each family.

How Much Does It Cost to Use a Sperm Donor in the UK?

The price of using a sperm donor to become pregnant varies based on a number of factors such as who your sperm donor is, the quality of the sperm you are purchasing, or which clinic you are purchasing sperm from. For example, if you are purchasing sperm from a donor that you know, the cost tends to be significantly less expensive than if you are purchasing sperm from an unknown donor through a fertility clinic.

Other options for obtaining sperm donations include searching for free or low-cost sperm donors online through specially designed websites. However, most free sperm donors do not have to undergo health screening or prove that their sperm is high-quality. For that reason, if you choose this route, you will be taking on the risk of inherited diseases or even infections.

If you choose to purchase sperm from a well-known sperm bank or fertility clinic, the sample will be priced according to the motility of the sperm. Motility is an important factor in determining price because it refers to the sperm’s ability to swim through your reproductive tract to meet the unfertilized egg. On average, the price of high-quality sperm can range anywhere from £850 to £1,150.

How to Become Pregnant by Sperm Donor in the UK

  1. Schedule an appointment with your local fertility clinic

At your initial appointment, you will start the process with a consultation with your doctor. Based on your results, you and your health care provider will come up with a plan of action for becoming pregnant with donated sperm.

  1. Meet with your healthcare provider for a consultation

The next step is to sit down for a one-on-one meeting with your fertility specialist. This is a great time for you to ask questions or express any concerns that you might have about using a sperm donor. Your doctor or nurse will prescribe you any necessary fertility medication. When you leave this meeting, you will have a clear idea of what to expect from the insemination process.

  1. Select your sperm donor

After you understand the process of insemination and have a clear plan of action from your fertility provider, you will have the chance to determine a suitable donor for your family. Although you won’t be flipping through the pages of a catalogue or even be able to look at photos of your potential donor, you will still have the opportunity to determine the best donor for you based on some specific criteria. Some of the information that sperm banks collect from their donors include eye colour, height, race, hair colour, and even personality details and personal interests.

  1. Proceed with artificial insemination

Once you have selected your sperm donor, you will be ready to proceed with artificial insemination. When it comes to fertilizing an egg with the donated sperm, you have two options. The first is to inject the sperm into your reproductive organs through a process called intrauterine insemination. This method takes place in a matter of minutes at your doctor’s office. The second option involves fertilizing mature eggs in a lab with in vitro fertilization. This process can be more invasive than the first option because they will need to remove an egg from your body. However, it ensures that the egg will be fertilized before it is reintroduced to your uterus.

Just Keep Swimming!

Planning a family can be tough, especially if there are obstacles in your way to conception. Luckily, sperm donation is a great option for many women who are looking to conceive. In fact, thousands of people around the world use a sperm donor to become pregnant each year. With the help of this guide, you will have all of the information you need to begin your journey towards conception.

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