Author: London Sperm Bank
With more couples and single women turning to alternative fertility treatments than ever before, donor sperm is in high demand – and there’s never been a more appropriate time for men to come forward.
Subsequently, many of the UK’s gay men are among those ready and willing to help those in need. But one rather ominous myth is making them hesitant to put themselves forward: the ‘phantom ban’ on gay men donating sperm.
At the London Sperm Bank, we love answering questions from our donors and recipients alike – but we also love debunking myths! So in response to the question, “can I donate sperm even if I’m gay?”…
“Of course you can!”
Gay men can donate sperm the same as any other healthy male. Before writing this article, I received a message from a potential donor who was unsure if he could donate because of his sexual orientation… Well:
UK (HFEA) law states that: “there should be no specific restrictions on donations from men who have sex with men”
And in 2016, it almost seems ridiculous to suggest anything otherwise! But the rumors aren’t without their foundation. A single overhasty google search reveals the following statement from an American sperm bank: “male donors must have had exclusively female sexual partners in order to donate”.
Another search enforces that gay donors, “must not have had intercourse with another man in 5 years” in order to donate.
Part of the reasons for the American clinics having regulations on gay people donating is because of a perceived risk and a fear of donated sperm carrying STDs (believed to be more prominent among sexually active gay men). Similar restrictions can also be encountered when trying to donate blood.
At the London Sperm Bank however, we don’t adopt such policies. We believe in treating all our donors equally. You’ll undergo the same meticulous screening process and tests as everyone else on our programme, which makes sure that your sperm is healthy and safe.
When screening, we are looking for any infectious or genetic conditions that could affect a child or recipient; sexual orientation simply doesn’t fit this criterion and therefore is irrelevant to your ability to donate. Along with hair colour, eye colour and personal interests, sexuality is just another characteristic relevant to recipients reading your donor profile (once you’ve donated). Most importantly, you’ll be donating for the same reason too – giving hope to those who have none.
All donors are equal in their selfless desire to bring happiness to others
So don’t let the rumour-mill put you off! Gay, bi or straight, we’re working together to make someone’s dreams of a family come true, so why not get in touch and find out how you can help?
In the age of the internet, it takes a few clicks to get involved in an amazing and rewarding cause – so if you think you’ve got what it takes: go forth and apply!