Meet our donors
Who they are - A Few Good Men
The men attending the London Sperm Bank are some of the most decent individuals you could hope to meet, all with their different reasons for taking part. Often it is due to a friend or relative who has had trouble having a baby or just because they want to help families who cannot conceive naturally whether that's due to infertility or no male partner. You can read some of our sperm donors' stories by clicking here.
Our donors come from all cultures, religions and sections of the community. Some have degrees, MBAs and PHDs and come from a variety of professions including biologists and chefs to solicitors and police officers.
We gratefully acknowledge the commitment that all of our donors make to our programme. As well as going through rigorous blood tests (a strict requirement for all our donors) the men must attend twice a week often spending their lunch hour or time before and after work at the sperm bank. This means we get to know our donors quite well and can vouch for their varying personalities, sense of humour and above all their kind nature and dedication to the programme.
To illustrate the obligation of our sperm donors and to assure you of the strict regime our donors have to go through to be accepted, please see the journey of a typical sperm donor below.
How we screen our donors - Sperm Donor Journey
The London Sperm Bank is licensed and regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) which means that all our donors have to undergo rigorous screening before they can be accepted onto the programme.
Here is a typical journey of a sperm donor intending to join our sperm bank:
The donor will attend the London Sperm Bank for an interview with one of our scientists to establish his reasons for becoming a donor, and to ascertain his commitment to the programme. He will need to give his GP details and provide some recognised identification (such as passport or driving license). The donor will be provided with some information to answer any questions he might have about donating his sperm.
He will be asked his age (donors must be between 18 and 41) and about his and his family's medical history. Donors with hereditary diseases in their families are excluded from the programme.
Semen Analysis and Test Freeze
Following the interview, the donor will be asked to provide a sperm sample which will be analysed for its quality. The sample is frozen and then thawed to check that it will survive the freezing process. Donor sperm must be of a quality high enough to be used for all fertility treatments including intra-uterine insemination (IUI) and IVF.
During the next visit the donor will need to provide a blood sample for extensive sexual health screening. Tests will include the following:
- HIV I/II
- HTLV I/II
- Hepatitis B surface antigen
- Hepatitis B core antibody
- Hepatitis C viral antibody
- CMV status
Approximately 10-15% of sperm donors do not proceed beyond this stage. If successful the final screening tests will include:
- Chromosome analysis
- Complete blood count
- Blood group and Rhesus status
- Cystic fibrosis
Depending on the ethnic origin of the donor, he may be asked to complete some further tests such as Sickle Cell or Thalassaemia.
Finally all our donors need to see a doctor for a physical examination, a review of their medical history and that of their close family. Donors are also offered counselling to discuss the implications of donating their sperm.
Once the donor is accepted onto the programme, he will be invited back to the clinic around twice a week to produce samples. After each visit, the donor can claim travel expenses but payments for their donations are not allowed.
The donor sperm is then frozen and quarantined for six months. Following the quarantine period, the donor will repeat all of his screening blood tests to ensure that results are still normal.
Donor Bank Catalogue
Once all of the final results are received, the donor sperm will be added to the donor bank catalogue.