Screening donor sperm - what you need to know

28th September 2012 in Treatments

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

If you need to use donor sperm to have a baby, you may be reassured to know that here at Manchester Fertility we screen all of our donors before they are accepted.

 Screening is a vital part of our donor programme.  As a registered, licensed clinic our aim is always to ensure that all the sperm used by our patients has been thoroughly tested and is clear of some of the many common illnesses and diseases which may pose a risk to the recipient and any baby born.

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.

An important point to bear in mind when considering using donor sperm is that in the UK there is a current family limit of 10 families according to strict HFEA regulations.

This means that any one donor can only create 10 different families – once this limit has been reached he can no longer be offered to new patients.

A sperm donor can donate to the same family more than once however. This means that his sperm can be used by the same recipient to give a child a sibling, for example, which shares the same biological donor.

If you have any questions about how our donors are screened and issues surrounding sperm donation or using donor sperm, please feel free to email us in confidence at [email protected] or you can call us on 0161 300 2737.

Last updated: 27th September 2012