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PARENTING


BORN IN 1972? IT’S NOW OR NEVER!


Ms Toyin Jegede, Donor Recruitment and Campaign Officer for the London Sperm Bank, reports on important changes to the legal age limits of sperm donors…


The London Sperm Bank was founded to address the acute donor sperm shortage in the UK. Incorporating Dr. Louis Hughes Sperm Bank (established 1976) and The London Women’s Clinic, we are now the country’s largest provider of donor sperm, successfully helping couples and single women fulfil their dream of having a child. This month, the HFEA (Human


Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) reduced from 45 to 41 the legal age limit a man can donate his sperm; which means the time to take action is now. If you have considered sperm donation, but haven’t got round to making in enquiry, the decision could be taken out of your hands if you were born before 1972.


Why is there an age limit on donating sperm? According to Dr. Silber of St Luke’s Infertility Hospital in the US, “Men experience an age-related decrease in testicular size and in sperm production. In some men, there is a decline in testosterone production and a decreased ability of the body to produce and mature the sperm cells, which becomes noticeable after the age of 40.” It is also known that as men age, sperm cells can accumulate mutations that are passed to offspring. Regardless of age, sperm continues to reproduce through division. If a sperm becomes altered or mutates, any other sperm that is produced by the natural division will also be altered or mutated. Each successive division introduces a slight risk of error in the genetic material of the new sperm, which is passed on to the children.


How to join our donor program The first step involves filling out an enquiry form on our website: www. londonspermbank.com or calling one of our consultants on 020 7563 4305 to book an initial screening appointment.


48 WWW.OUTMAG.CO.UK


“This


month, the HFEA reduced the legal age a man can donate his sperm from 45 to 41”


This appointment is an opportunity for you to find out more about the donor programme as well as for us to find out a bit more about you. We ask


you to complete a medical questionnaire as


well as to produce a sperm sample for us to test its suitability


to freeze. You will get the results of this appointment within 48 hours and if you are suitable we ask for you to visit us again for infectious screening tests (STD and hepatitis). If you are found to be non-infectious, we then invite you to join our donor programme. The programme last approximately 3-6


months and over the course of donation you will be screened for hereditary disease and asked to see one of our onsite doctors for a complete medical check up. Even if, for any reason, you are not accepted on to our programme, our meticulous screening process means that at the very least you will find out more about yourself.


To reflect the changes the HFEA made to the payment policy, we are now re-imbursing all of our donors a flat fee of £35 per visit to the clinic. Previously the HFEA had placed a £250 cap on expenses, but this cap has now been removed.


www.londonspermbank.com


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