Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Donor 101: Caucasian, green eyes, brown hair, 1.80m, atheist, marketing executive

What would your profile say?
If you feel you have good genes, are healthy and like the thought of “passing on your genes”, then why not become a sperm donor?

Continue your gene pool and help others not able to conceive complete their family.  Becoming a donor is more than just a gesture of altruism, but a way that you too as a donor can achieve your desire to procreate in an unconventional way.

Whether you are currently in a relationship or single we would like to hear from you.  Our donors come in all shapes and sizes, regardless of your education, social background, race or hobbies, we want you- so long as you are aged 18-45, fit and healthy and free from hereditary or infectious disease.

The first step involves filling out an enquiry form on our website: www.londonspermbank.com or calling one of our consultants on 020 7935 9004 to book an initial screening visit.

During this visit you will get the chance to speak to a member of the team who will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have. We will also get you to complete a medical questionnaire and also produce a sperm sample for us to check it’s suitability to freeze.

If you are considered fit and healthy with great sperm quality after freezing, you are already half way through the screening process.  We will then ask you to come in for a blood and urine test which tests for sexually transmitted disease.  If these tests come back with the all clear, you are asked to see our medical doctor for a medical assessment and then you are free to start making donations.

Even if for any reason you are not accepted onto our program, our meticulous screening process means that at the very least you find out more about yourself than when you previously enquired.

If you’re still not 100% sure about making that initial enquiry, here are just some of the reasons why our donors have joined the program- men just like you:

‘…people close to me have suffered testicular cancer and become infertile…’
Police Officer, 34
‘…my partner and I won’t be having kids so I really want to help couples that want them…’ 
Plumber, 32
‘…I have no idea what might happen in the future and I knew a couple unable to have children so I decided to do this…’
Student, 26
‘…so that my friends could know more about where sperm used to create their child came from…’ 
29 (known donor to lesbian couple)

Each and every donor has their own reason for joining, so whether you are considering donating for altruistic reasons or to “pass on your genes” make today the day you choose to take action!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Red-heads welcomed!!!

Unlike the Cryo's International sperm bank, here at The London Sperm Bank, we are looking for men from all different walks of life with a variety of different characteristics.  In fact we embrace donors that are individualistic and personally we feel that we quite frankly do not have enough red haired donors- so please do apply.

  • Age 18-45
  • Healthy (free from infectious and hereditary disease)
  • Willing to commit to regular donations 
  • Can commute into London, UK for donations
The rest is down to us, during your first visit our friendly scientists will take a look at your sperm just to make sure that they are nice and healthy and of course freezable.  If they are and your blood tests and medical assessments confirm that you are nice and healthy- then you're in!!! Simple as that!

Get in touch with us to start the ball rolling, we are fascinated to find out more about you and any anecdotal stories you might have- we’re all ears! To book your first appointment either drop us an Email: info@londonspermbank.com or give us a call on 020 7935 9004

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Our donor accounts from article- Who's the Daddy!

Clint Launceston, 25
Vet and international cyclist
"If a woman donates an egg, she's a hero. If a man donates sperm, he's the butt of jokes. Yet it's a vital way for some people to have a family. The image of sperm donation does need humanising and should be viewed the same as blood donation. I've got a medical background so I see science as a force for good.

"If you pay donors then you'd get more men signing up but it may attract a different type of donor. Money wouldn't have made a difference to me. For me, it was about doing the right thing and there's also something reassuring about my genes carrying on if I get run over by a bus tomorrow.

"I'm curious to know (if I have children) but it's not a burning need. I don't think I'd see them as my children. I wouldn't know how their minds work because I'm not their parent. Biologically I'm the father but I've not put in the effort raising them. And that's what parenting is about. I was brought up just by my mother from the age of five. I look and sound like my father but I'm the product of the woman who raised me. But I'd be very willing and perfectly comfortable to meet up. When I was 21, my father told me that I had an older sibling from another relationship and it didn't bother me. I thought it was fantastic.
"My girlfriend knows I've donated and 95 per cent of my friends have been positive. The fact is you're not changing society as we know it. You're mainly helping married couples have children. Isn't that what society approves of?

"Sperm donation can put a huge strain on your relationship, especially as you have to abstain from sex for about three days before you give your sample. It takes nearly a year to donate because there's a lot of screening and tests, especially psychological ones. You get tested for genetic diseases as well so there's a twinge of apprehension there.
"You get asked if you want to write your children a letter and I jumped at the chance. Mine was along the lines of: 'Hi. I'm the person who helped your parents make you. If Facebook still exists when you're 18 then look me up'."

Peter Law, 28
Musician and producer from south London

"Most of my friends are married or divorced or have children. When I visit my friends and see kids running around I definitely want children but just not yet. I'm single, I'm still finishing my degree and I want to travel. My passion is music - I play the guitar in a band, I teach music and produce - so it's hard getting a break and establishing yourself.

"I suppose donating and having my sperm frozen for my own use later is an insurance policy. So I Googled clinics which stored sperm. Then I thought, 'why not donate as well?'
"You're doing something good for others. I had a perfect childhood, then my parents divorced but I'm still close to them both and my sister Louise. The family unit is important to me - it's about love and strength. I don't see sperm donation as creating children then giving them away. I'd be the father although someone else is bringing them up.

"If someone asks me if I've donated then I'm not going to lie. I do have this close female friend and I wasn't going to tell her but I had to abstain from sex before donating - as a man you can't pretend to a woman that 'I'm on my period'. I think I'd tell any future partners that I could have donor children and I wouldn't choose to be with someone who isn't open-minded. My mum and dad, my sister know - they're all quite open-minded anyway.

"Sperm can be stored for 50 years so I could be a pensioner before my children trace me. It would make me really happy though that someone had made the effort to find me. Of course I'll think about the children I've created. I'm going to write them a letter. I want to write in case the kid is curious. It's hard, though, because I don't know where I'll be when they reach 18, what planet I'll be on or even if I'll be alive.

"To me, giving sperm is like donating a kidney - if something in your body doesn't work then you use someone else's. I do realise, though, that I'm making a decision now that has consequences later in life. But I don't think I'm irresponsible being a donor. Having children by accident, now that's irresponsible."

Joe Turner, 38
Married software engineer from west London

"My wife Sam has never had any problems about me donating. She suggested it after reading an article about the shortage of donors. Perhaps if I'd done it secretly then she'd have been upset, especially if a strange teenager knocked at the door and said 'you're my daddy.'

"We've got two children of our own aged three and seven but when you can't have any it must be hard. The shortage of donors surprised me so I thought if I could help then I would. The fact that I'm adopted was another major factor in my decision. If anyone knows what it's like to grow up without biological relatives then meet them, I do. My birth mother contacted me a few years ago after being forced to give me up as a teenager. It's all been good and I keep in touch with her and my half-sisters. Being adopted was never a problem but I was told early on, and that's really important with sperm donor children as well.
"It's a human right to know about your biology - I feel very strongly about that. I'm very proud to have donated and I always tell people. The first thing they ask is 'Why? You're giving away your children'. Some react with horror when I tell them my donor children can contact me at age 18. A lot comes down to ignorance - people's knee-jerk reaction.

"The fact is that IVF exists, you can't uninvent it. Women in heterosexual or lesbian relationships and single women need donors. I trust the bank not to give my sperm to someone incapable of bringing up a child. The alternative is women using companies selling live sperm - that's disgusting. They go through the internet but the sperm hasn't been tested for disease. Donating through a licensed clinic is a rigorous process. Only a tiny percentage of men get accepted.

"It would be interesting to meet my children but they're not my family. It's not that I don't feel any emotion but 'biological father' is just a medical term. Having said that, if one of them felt differently that's fine. And I'd also respect it if they didn't want to contact me.
"I haven't rehearsed what I'd say if my child came knocking. What I do know, though, is I'm the perfect person to answer their questions."

The pictured donors' names have all been changed.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

What does being a sperm donor really mean?

“Sperm donors needed. Expenses paid!”

Many of you would have seen these words in the classified section of the papers, on the tube, and even on social networks, but what is this all really about?

There are many women across the UK who require donor sperm either due to infertility or the absence of a male partner. The UK has traditionally had problems recruiting volunteers for sperm donation, with demand consistently exceeding supply.  This means thousands of women are denied the chance to have children. We want to change this and we need your help!

“My partner and I thought long and hard about having a family. We both wanted to be parents, and had been together happily for many years, with a supportive wider family who encouraged us to go for it. After much talking, we conceived our first baby through sperm donation (and later again with sperm from the same donor). It wasn’t something we did lightly, and I am sitting here struggling to find the words to communicate quite how important the decision was, and how having children has transformed our lives. We now have two miraculous children - a son and daughter - whom we adore, and who adore each other. They are bright, happy, confident kids, who have brought so much joy, not just to us, but to our parents (particularly one set who thought they would never be grandparents), and to our sisters, brother and nieces. Sperm donation is the most incredible life-transforming gift, and we are forever grateful to the wonderful man who made it possible for us to create a family.”  Recipient, two children (donor sperm used from our donor bank for treatment at our sister clinic The London Women’s Clinic)

There are many more touching stories like this which bring home the reality of what becoming a sperm donor really means to the recipients.  Although donating may be inconvenient at times you really are the important link that can complete our recipient’s family.
If you are a healthy male, aged between 18 and 45 we would be delighted to hear from you!
We welcome enquiries from potential donors from all walks of life and every background.  The women who come to us for donor sperm are from very diverse backgrounds but they all share one common desire - to have a child, and contrary to many misconceptions, the realities are:

1.       Your legal status does not change by becoming a donor.  The law means that children born as a result of your donations can find out who you are at age 18 but you will have no legal rights or responsibilities over any child conceived with your donations. 
2.       You are in control – you can withdraw consent at any time and have choices regarding how your sperm is used.
3.       You can donate your sperm regardless of your sexual orientation- Gay or not, we want to hear from you- we are more interested in your life experiences and reasons for donating
4.       You will not have hundreds of children all over the UK with your genes- Each donor can be used for a maximum of 10 families only. 
The first step is easier than you think- simply call us on 020 7935 9004 or email us on info@londonspermbank.com .  You can even fill out an enquiry form on our website: www.londonspermbank.com

Friday, 3 June 2011

Why do men donate their sperm?

Helping someone to have a child is one of the most special and generous gifts to give. Although the press have been talking about Britain’s donor shortage and the lack of altruistic sperm donors, we are grateful for the men that we have had come forward from all different walks of lives armed with different life experiences.
We would like to share with those of you that are thinking of doing something special the reasons some of our donors are donating, in hope that you will realise that although an uncomfortable subject, people just like you are making that decision and have taken the leap.
Please note that names have been changed to protect the donors’ anonymity.
Alan, a 41-year-old actor, saw the effects of infertility at close hand. “My sister and her husband tried for a long time to have a baby,” Alan recalls. “But when she finally did become pregnant, she miscarried. It was just devastating for everyone. I felt it very deeply - in fact it was the only time in my life I’ve ever written poetry.”
“It certainly made me think about the future and it put things in perspective. Eventually, my sister and her husband were treated at a fertility clinic, and now I have two nieces – the first was born following ICSI nine years ago. So I know what effect childlessness can have. It doesn’t just affect the couple, but ripples out to all the family. I asked myself how I could help; I wanted to help.”

Like many of the donors on our program, Alan has no worries about anonymity. In fact, he says, his only worry was whether his sperm would be suitable, but semen analysis at the start of his programme found his sperm counts and motility high. “The new anonymity laws don’t bother me “he says. “When they’re 18, I’ll be 59. I’ve read that those who search for a biological father will be counselled through the process, so I expect it will be done in a responsible way. The way I see it is that I’ve simply helped someone else to have a baby.”
 Here are some of the other reasons our donors made that important decision to join our donor program:
‘…people close to me have suffered testicular cancer and become infertile…’
Police Officer, 34
‘…my partner and I won’t be having kids so I really want to help couples that want them…’
Plumber, 32
 ‘…many of my friends were having problems conceiving, so I thought about other people out there and decided this was something I could do to help…’
Actor and Air Steward,
 ‘….being able to make a huge difference to those people who cannot have children. A charity donation or giving blood only make a small difference, this lasts a lifetime…’
Recruitment Consultant,
What would your reason be?
If you are aged 18-45, healthy and able to make a donation once a week for 3-6 months then we would love to hear from you. 
To find out more information about our donor program and eligibility please visit our website on www.londonspermbank.com.  You can also contact us via email on info@londonspermbank.com or by phone on 020 7935 9004

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Why not become a sperm donor?

The press have been talking about the UK sperm donor shortage for a few years now but are we any closer to meeting this demand?  Why are there so few men willing to come forward and donate their sperm?
Perhaps because of the many misconceptions surrounding sperm donation men are put off by myths that are not true.  We find during the recruitment process that once men are provided with accurate information and facts they go on to complete a course of donation and stay committed to the bank.  We believe that many more men could be recruited armed with the relevant information.
Helping someone to have a child is one of the most special and generous gifts to give and after reading this article we hope that many more of you decide to do this.
If you are aged 18-45 fit and healthy with heaps of enthusiasm and altruism, here are the answers to some of the niggling questions that you might have regarding donating your sperm
 “If I donate my sperm then I will have to pay child support to resulting children”
The changes to the law made in 2005 only relate to the anonymity of your donations.  Yes, children born as a result of your donations can have access to identifying information about you as a donor.  However if you donate to a HFEA registered clinic, such as The London Sperm Bank, you are not financially responsible, or legally responsible, for any future children born through your donated sperm. The recipients of your sperm are the child’s legal parents, not you.
“A child could come knocking on my door in the future and tell me that I’m their dad.”
The law changes made in 2005 by the HFEA does mean that children born as a result of your donations can apply to receive indentifying information about you once they reach 18.  Prior to this age, the only information available to them are non- indentifying such as your eye colour, hair colour and height.   You can find out the number of children born as a result of your donations at any stage even long before they reach 18.  By doing this you will know the exact number of potential children that might want to find out information about you.  You can also find out their year of birth and sex.  Studies have indicated that children seeking information about their donor are more likely to want to find out specific information about the genetic back ground and any siblings they might have.  Donor conceived children recognize the recipients as their parents and are also offered counseling prior to receiving indentifying information.
 “There could be thousands of children running around as a result of my donations.”
Not so.  In the UK there is a maximum limit of 10 families who can use your sperm. Once this limit is reached, your sperm can no longer be used by another family.  You are also able to reduce the number of families you wish to help when you come in to fill out your consent forms.  You can also withdraw consent to use your sperm at any time, putting you in full control of your donations.
 “If I don’t get accepted as a donor, then I am infertile.”
Again not true. The recruitment processes in sperm banks are very meticulous and thus men are rejected on parameters that are not examined during a “normal” semen analysis.  The majority of men who are rejected based on sperm quality are rejected on the basis of a poor resistance to the freeze conditions.
“I’m gay so I can’t be a donor.”
The misconception is that sperm banks turn away gay men because they are seen as a high risk group.  An online co-parenting website recently indicated that the demand for gay sperm donors from lesbians and single women on their website has significantly increased.  They stated that 51% of their registered members were looking for gay single men and 31% were looking for gay donors in a relationship.  At the London Sperm Bank we welcome men from all different backgrounds, so long as you are free from sexually transmitted infections (and practise safe sex) and have a good sperm quality.
We hope that you are now fully armed with enough information to at least make an enquiry and come and meet us at the bank.  We are a friendly bunch and are happy to answer any more questions that you might have.  The more questions you have, the more serious we know you are about actually donating. 
To contact us send us and email info@londonspermbank.com or call us on 020 7935 9004.  You can also visit our website on www.londonspermbank.com

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Can cycling affect your fertility?

According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Cordoba Medical School in Spain, professional cyclists should consider freezing their sperm prior to commencing their careers as a cyclist!

15 triathletes with an average age of 33 were asked to produce sperm for analysis and the results were compared with their training routines.  The study found that only cycling, and not swimming or running affected their sperm quality.  Those who covered more than 186 miles a week on their bikes had less than 4% normal looking sperm.

Another research carried out at Boston University suggests that men who cycle for more than five hours a week have fewer and less active sperm than men who do not exercise at all.  The study looked at the sperm quality of more than 2,200 men visiting fertility clinics.  The results showed no difference in sperm quality between those who did general exercise and those that didn’t exercise at all, but interestingly those who specifically cycled for at least 5 hours a week were twice as likely to have both low sperm count and poor motility.

It is important to note however that the study was carried out amongst men who were attending fertility clinics, thus more likely to have fertility problems.  The researchers have stated that more research is needed to replicate the findings of this study over a wider population group.

The link between fertility and cycling is believed to be the effect of temperature rises and scrotum trauma that occur as a result of regular cycling.

If you are considering coming into our sperm bank for an initial sperm analysis, it is important to not worry about a poor result especially if you cycle as such activities have yet to be proven as concrete causes of poor sperm counts and certainly not as sole reasons for poor quality.  It is more important to ensure that you are fit and healthy, reduce alcohol intake and smoking habits and limit exposure to sexually transmitted infections by practising safe sex!

Monday, 31 January 2011

500 Sperm donors needed: Can you help?

Did you know that in order to meet the current UK demand for fertility treatment using donor sperm, approximately 500 donors are needed every year?

The current UK shortages mean that thousands of couples and single women are left on long waiting lists, are forced to travel overseas for treatment, or perhaps resort to using sperm from unsafe and unregulated sperm websites, which do not have the same strict rules, regulations, screening and testing procedures which protect both donor and recipient.

Meeting the UK demand for donor sperm is not as easy as simply finding 500 men to donate sperm, because on average only about 5% of applicants are accepted.  Unfortunately the majority of sperm are just not suitable for freezing or are not high enough in concentration to consider.  Some potential donors are also unsuitable because of their medical history.

This poor acceptance rate means that to meet the demands, we simply need to raise awareness and encourage more men to come forward and drive the number of accepted sperm donors.

At the London Sperm Bank we are looking for men from all different backgrounds with the right attitude and commitment level to complete the course of donation.
It is very stereotypical to assume that sperm donors are mostly students, as at our bank we have seen men from the Financial industry, city professionals, older men in their mid 30’s to 40’s who already have children, men in the healthcare sector, teachers, civil servants, men in the armed forces and many other various backgrounds.
If you would consider donating your sperm, then instead of just thinking about it, why not find out if you are suitable?  Simply fill out our sperm donor application form and we will get in touch with you with more information.
Although expenses are paid covering travel and loss of earnings, the greatest feeling is the knowledge that you are able to help childless couples and women achieve their hope of child birth.  Not to mention, the knowledge that you are amongst the 5% of men with suitable sperm quality and medical history.
The more men we get coming forward the more likely we are to meet the current shortages.