There are several reasons why you may need to use donated sperm (ie, sperm that is not from your partner).
It can be used in different types of fertility treatment including IUI, where sperm is used to fertilise a woman’s egg inside her body and IVF, where sperm is used to fertilise a woman’s egg or donor eggs in a laboratory.
You may need donor sperm if:
How can donor sperm be used in treatment?
Donor sperm may come from someone you know or from a sperm bank. Our dedicated embryology team are on hand to help with any questions you may have and, if required, can help you select sperm from our donor bank of choice. They will try, as far as possible, to help you (and your partner) to match the donor’s physical characteristics with your own.
You will also be offered counselling throughout your parenting journey from specially trained therapists as well as access to legal advice if required.
Who donates sperm?
Sperm donors are usually aged 18-45 years and with good quality sperm. All sperm donors must be registered with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). They need to have a series of stringent screening tests to check they aren’t carrying inherited diseases or infections. The number of families that each donor can create is also limited by the HFEA.
We use a nucleic acid test, often called a ‘NAT’ test, It’s a type of blood screening test that detects viruses earlier. Even using this test, sperm will need to be quarantined for three months after it has been donated and frozen before it can be used in treatment.
Although sperm donors are usually anonymous, any child born using donor sperm will be able to access identifying information about that donor at the age of 18. You can find out more about this on the HFEA website.
What are the legal aspects of using donated sperm?
If you use donated sperm through the Agora, any child born as a result is legally the child of you and your partner (if you have one). This means that the person who donates the sperm has no legal rights over your child or responsibility for them. However, the HFEA Register does hold identifying information about each donor and the child has a legal right to this when they are 18. Our specialist team will be able to help you access legal advice, and you can also find out more about legal parenthood from the HFEA website.
Please see our latest success rates for treatments with donor sperm.
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