What steps are involved in sperm donation?

If you are interested in becoming a donor, contact us and we will provide you with further information and book you in for an appointment. At this appointment you will be asked to provide valid proof of photo identification and complete a medical questionnaire. If you meet the initial donation criteria you will be asked to provide a semen sample in a private donation room at the centre.

Semen analysis

Your semen sample will be tested for sperm volume, count, motility, morphology, sperm survival for 48 hours and ability to withstand the freezing process. You will then be notified as to whether or not your sample is suitable for donation.

If your semen sample meets the required criteria for donors, you will be asked to provide a blood sample, a urine sample, and another semen sample for screening purposes, and attend a compulsory session of implications counselling (on a separate occasion) to ensure that you understand and accept the implications of donating sperm. You are welcome to bring your partner, if applicable, to your counselling session.

What screening tests will I undergo?

All sperm donors must have no known personal or familial history of inherited disorders and no current infection of sexually transmitted diseases. Before commencing donation, you will have a detailed medical history taken and you will be required to undergo rigorous screening tests before, during, and after donating. These tests may reveal previously unsuspected conditions, including:

  • gonorrhoea (urine test)
  • chlamydia (urine test)
  • syphilis
  • cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • HTLV
  • blood group
  • culture and sensitivity in semen• Karyotype and cystic fibrosis
  • Sickle-cell anaemia, beta-thalassaemia (if applicable)
  • You may also be tested for HTLV-1* and Tay-Sachs** disease if these tests are necessary.

(*  HTLV-I infection in the United States appears to be about half as prevalent as HIV infection among IV drug users. Studies of HTLV-I antibody indicate that the virus is endemic in southern Japan, in the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador, in the Caribbean, and in Africa.)

(**  Tay-Sachs: Screening may be necessary in Ashkenazi Jews, French Canadians, Louisiana Cajun, Pennsylvania Dutch and preliminary data suggests persons of British Isle and Italian decent have an increased carrier rate over the general population.)

Commencing donation

If all screening tests are clear, you can start donating and should aim to visit the centre once or twice a week. We expect that, on average, you will have to visit the centre six times to provide an appropriate amount of suitable sample to be frozen, although the number of visits you may have to make will depend on your individual clinical circumstances.

Repeat screening and quarantine of samples

After your last donation you will need to be screened again for sexually transmitted diseases – syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. If you pass all these screening tests, we will quarantine your samples for six months.

Repeat screening and samples used for treatment

Six months after your last donation, we will repeat your HIV, hepatitis B and C screening. If your screening results are all clear, we can then start using your samples for treating patients. Your sample can only be used to father ten families, or less if you wish, as expressed in your completed consent forms.

Reimbursement of expenses

A donor may be reimbursed reasonable expenses incurred within the UK in connection with the donation up to £750, in accordance with HFEA directions. In the UK it is illegal to pay donors for donating their sperm.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a donor?

Legal parenthood - you will not be the legal parent of any child conceived from your donations.

Withdrawal of consent

You can change or withdraw your consent at any time up to the point at which your sperm is used in treatment.

Access to information

The HFEA registers all information regarding treatment with donors. You, the donor, can request non-identifying information about any children born as a result of your donated sperm, including the number of children born, their sex, and their year of birth.

What information can be disclosed to donor-conceived offspring?

From the age of 16, donor conceived children have access to the following non-identifying information about their donor:

  • physical description (height, weight, eye hair and skin colours)
  • year and country of birth
  • ethnicity of donor and donor’s parents
  • number and sex of other genetic children donor had when they registered
  • marital status at time of donation
  • details of any screening tests and medical history
  • reasons for donating
  • a goodwill message written by the donor for the benefit of the donor-conceived offspring and their reasons for donating
  • skills and any other details the donor may have chosen to supply, such as occupation, religion and interests.

From the age of 18, donor-conceived children can access the full name, as well as previous names, date and place of birth, and last known postal address of the donor.

From 16 if contemplating marriage, or from 18, people can ask the HFEA if they were conceived as a result of donor insemination and, if so, whether they are related to the person they are about to marry.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)