Considering Being A Sperm Donor? This Is How It Works In The UK

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The route to conceiving a child isn’t always clear-cut, and for some families, sperm donation is a great option.

Donating your sperm to help families conceive is a great act of selflessness and generosity, but, depending on where you live, it can also be something you’re financially compensated for. 

Here in the UK, it’s actually illegal to pay somebody for a sperm donation, but donors can be reimbursed for their expenses.

Who can be a sperm donor in the UK?

Men between the ages of 18 and 45 can potentially donate their sperm, as long as they are in generally good health, have no serious illnesses and are approved by medical professionals.

According to the NHS, once you are approved, you’ll have an initial appointment where you will produce a semen sample.

The NHS added: “If your sample is suitable then we will talk you through the sperm donation process in full. You can take as long as you need to decide if you wish to proceed.”

What you need to consider before donating sperm

Once you have donated your sperm, you have no responsibility for the baby that’s conceived, but, once the child turns 18, they do have a right to find you. 

The NHS urged: “The child will inherit your genes and therefore they, and any children of theirs, will be genetically related to you. You should consider how you feel about this now and try to imagine how you may feel about it in the future.” 

The NHS also requests that anybody donating sperm has at least one session with an NHS counsellor to be certain that this is something that they are mentally prepared for.

What do you need to be checked for before donating sperm?

The standard screening for sperm donors checks for:

  • Semen analysis, to make sure that your sperm is suitable for use in treatment and has a good chance of being able to contribute to a pregnancy

  • Blood tests for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis

  • Urine test for chlamydia

  • Karyotype (a basic genetic test which checks that the chromosomes in your cells are structurally normal)

  • Another type of genetic test which determines whether or not you are a carrier of the genetic disease(s) most common in people who share your ethnic background

To learn more about sperm donation and apply to be a donor, visit the NHS sperm donation website.

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