Sperm sharing programmes are a way in which those having fertility treatment can help others also struggling to conceive. Mark became a sperm donor after his wife began fertility treatment at Bourn Hall Clinic. Both in their early thirties they had been trying for a family for some years.
“When it was found that my wife would need to have an egg donation, I began to think more seriously about sperm donation. It was something that I could do to help another couple that were going through the same experiences that we were.”
“I had studied in the USA and there were always lots of signs up offering students ‘50 dollars for a sperm donation’, so I was aware that it was something people did. But that didn’t seem the right way to do it”
“It turned out that I had a good sperm count so when the doctor at Bourn Hall Clinic discussed it with me, I was pleased to help.”
“It’s really not a big deal. The people at Bourn Hall are not embarrassed, for them it is something that happens all the time and they made me feel good about it. The only awkward part was the prostate check, but I could handle that. It only took a short time, it was fine. “
Bourn Hall set up its sperm bank to overcome a national shortage of sperm, which was caused by a fall in the number of men coming forward to be donors. Changes in the anonymity rules in 2005 have meant that a child born as a result of egg or sperm donation can gain identifying information about their biological parent at 18 years and this is a concern for some men.
Mark is well aware of the anonymity rules:
“It does cross your mind that there is a possibility that some 18 year old may seek you out in the future, but to be honest it doesn’t worry me. I would just take them out for a beer and see how they are. “
“For couples like us that want children badly enough to go through IVF, fathering a child is a good thing, well worth a drink! “
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