Choosing your sperm donor

20th January 2016 in Advice

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

One of the most exciting parts of IUI treatment with donor sperm is choosing your sperm donor. But what information do you get about our donors? What are they screened for? And how do we ensure their sperm is good quality?

In this third blog post in our series all about treatment using donor sperm for same-sex couples, we go into detail about our sperm donors – who they are, their health checks and their profiles.

Who are Manchester Fertility sperm donors?

Our sperm donors are men from all walks of life. From professional executives who already have children to men who are single and haven’t had a family yet, they all have one thing in common – they all want to give the gift of the hope of a family to someone else. All of our sperm donors donate exclusively to us through our programme. They are all aged 18-41 when natural fertility is at its highest, UK-based, and have agreed to be fully identifiable to any child you have. 

What are they screened for?

Men go through rigorous health screening to be accepted as a Manchester Fertility sperm donor. This is so we can ensure that their sperm is safe for you to use, and for any child you have. 

The screening process involves a number of different stages:

Medical/family history: We ask for a full medical history of the potential sperm donor and his family (siblings, parents, grandparents) so we can identify if there are any risks of a genetic or hereditary condition within his family.

Genetic diseases and illnesses: Every potential donor undergoes full screening for a number of conditions including: Hepatitis B&C; HIV I & II; Cytomegalovirus; Karyotype (chromosome abnormalities); Cystic Fibrosis; Sickle Cell and Tay Sachs.

Quarantine: Even after a donor has provided sperm, it is not released for use for patients straight away. All sperm is quarantined for a number of months and retested prior to it being made available.

Is sperm from your donors good enough to get us pregnant?

Only men who have the highest quality sperm are accepted into our programme. By this we mean sperm that is able to withstand all the processes involved in treatment, including freezing and thawing. Men must have a high sperm count and sperm must have excellent motility and shape. If a man isn’t accepted as a sperm donor by us it doesn’t mean he’s infertile, it means that his sperm isn’t suitable to be used in treatment.

What’s in a Manchester Fertility sperm donor profile?

At Manchester Fertility we put great emphasis on our donor profiles. Because although anonymity was removed in 2005 so children can find out who their sperm donor is, this does not apply to the patients using donor sperm. You will not be able to choose a donor via a photograph, the only information you have to make your selection is a donor profile, so we realise how important it is to you that this is as detailed as it can be. 

You don’t just get a number, and very basic physical information, like hair colour and ethnicity. All of our sperm donors write a personal ‘pen portrait’ for their profile, describing themselves, their personality and their interests. It also includes a note explaining their motivation to donate, and even a message of goodwill to any child born.

This ensures we can give you a comprehensive, virtual ‘picture’ of your donor.

How can I be sure I’m choosing the right donor?

Our dedicated Donation Team is here to support you. They will find out exactly what you’re looking for in your ideal sperm donor, and then match you with a choice of our sperm donors that fit your criteria. We always aim to give you a choice of at least two donors. We get to know all of our donors personally, so can advise you on who may be a good match for you, allowing you and your partner to make your decision with confidence. 

Can I use the same donor again for future treatment?

Many couples who successfully have a child with us return again to expand their family. And we understand that in many cases, they’d like their children to share the same genetic father. Subject to availability, you can choose to reserve ampoules of sperm from your donor during your first initial cycle, in case of sibling treatment in the future. 

You can start your journey to a family with us straight away. Call our friendly team of Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2737 to book in for a private, no obligation one-to-one to talk through your options and tour our clinic.

Last updated: 20th January 2020