Free IVF for sperm sharers

If you need IVF yourself and you have a particularly healthy sperm count, it may be possible for you to participate in our sperm-sharing programme, and receive a free standard IVF treatment package.

How does it work?

Bourn Hall was one of the first clinics to introduce a sperm sharing programme. It offers help to others whose only hope of a family is through sperm donation, and it also benefits the sharer; in return for sharing your sperm, you and your partner will receive our IVF treatment package free of charge (see what’s included here).

As a sperm sharer you will donate sperm to our sperm bank and, after a quarantine period of six months you will be able to have a free cycle of IVF treatment yourselves. You can opt to have your treatment before this, if you wish. On completion of your donation and quarantine period, you will receive a refund equivalent to the price of a standard IVF package for the treatment you have already had yourself.

Who might need donated sperm?

Those who may benefit from receiving donor sperm include:

  • Men with a genetic condition or other fertility factors that causes them to have no or very poor sperm production
  • Men who have undergone cancer treatment, a vasectomy or suffered an injury or illness that has resulted in there being no sperm in their semen sample
  • Men who are carriers of an inherited disease, such as haemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which mean that using his sperm would put the life of the man’s potential baby at risk
  • Couples wanting a baby who have incompatible blood types. For instance, if the female partner is Rhesus (Rh)-sensitised and the male partner is Rh positive, this would potentially make the pregnancy problematic
  • Female same-sex couples and single women

Is it right for me?

If you’re a healthy male aged 18-40yrs undergoing fertility treatment with us, and your semen test results are good, you could be a sperm sharer. If you think you’d like to participate, speak to us and we’ll arrange a free appointment with one of our fertility specialist doctors.

To see whether you are eligible to become a sperm sharer, the doctor will examine you and ask about your family’s medical history. You’ll need to have some blood screening tests; these are carried out to ensure that all sperm sharers are free of infections, diseases or genetic conditions that could potentially be transmitted.

By sharing your sperm, you’d be helping another couple experiencing infertility. Current British law allows us to create up to 10 families from one sperm donor.

The process for sharing is the same as for anyone donating sperm.

What next?

Following an initial consultation, you will be offered free counselling before you decide to become a sperm sharer. If all is well and you decide to go ahead, we will ask you to attend the clinic at regular intervals to donate sperm. Usually, this involves 10-15 visits to the clinic. Your samples will be frozen so they can be used in the future.

Your samples are then quarantined for an appropriate period before you come back to the clinic for repeat screening tests. If these tests are also clear, we can use the frozen samples to help patients who need donated sperm for their treatment. At this point, you will be eligible for a free cycle of IVF treatment or a refund on a cycle of treatment you may have had in the meantime.

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Even if you don’t need treatment, you can help others to complete their families by donating sperm or eggs via our Become a Donor programme.