For the first time sperm donors will be able to nominate a friend or family member to receive free IVF treatment at a private clinic.
The UK has a shortage of donated sperm and the research revealed that the biggest motivator for donating was knowing someone that was having a problem conceiving.
So Bourn Hall, which has a clinic in Princes Street, Peterborough, as well as in Bourn, Cambridgeshire, is offering free IVF for those who donate.
Dr Mike Macnamee, Chief Executive of Bourn Hall, comments: “We were the first clinic to introduce sperm freezing and we have our own sperm bank but demand is rising and there is a national shortage.
“When a couple comes to the clinic for treatment and testing reveals that a man has ‘super sperm’ then we offer them free IVF treatment in return for sperm donation.
“The recent study has indicated that altruism is a powerful motivator so we have decided to extend this offer to allow donors not requiring help themselves to nominate someone they know for free IVF treatment. If this treatment requires donated sperm this will be provided from an anonymous donor.”
Sperm donation through clinics is strictly regulated in the UK to ensure potential donors are fully aware of the implications and only high quality sperm is accepted. Donors should be in good health and aged 18-40.
The study showed that the second biggest motivator was to be paid, so those not taking up free IVF treatment will receive £35 compensation for each sample.
Dr Macnamee added: “Donors have no legal or moral obligation to children resulting from donation, however, we have found that men who are prepared to donate are often relaxed about the thought of a young man or woman that they have helped bring into the world, later getting in touch. They feel it is a way they can make a big difference to someone else’s life.”
All the men who participated in the study were aware that their donation is anonymous until any offspring resulting from their donation are aged 18, when they can request details of the donor.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has confirmed that donors can express a preference on how they want to be contacted and it will inform them if a child had requested their details. It also encourages donor-conceived children to take up the offer of using an intermediary and provides support to donors.
Bourn Hall Clinic have launched their new donor website: http://www.becomeadonor.co.uk/