Ordering Donor Sperm

Important note:

When you are ready to order your donor sperm, please ensure you read this leaflet thoroughly. It provides all the guidance required to complete the ordering process. If you need further assistance regarding donor sperm, please contact the laboratory directly on [email protected]

Donor Clinics

We do not have our own donors at this unit. We use 4 companies, who will deliver sperm from your donor, direct to our unit;

  • Cryos
  • Xytex
  • Semovo
  • London Sperm Bank

We have guidance on the suitable quality of sperm to order, dependent on your treatment type, outlined on page 4.

All potential donors must complete an extensive medical questionnaire, regarding their own health and that of their blood relatives, a physical examination and counselling prior to being approved to donate their sperm.  Several blood tests are taken to screen for potential infections, including:

  • Blood group
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Chromosomal analysis.

Other genetic screening may be performed dependent upon the donor’s ethnic background.

Donors found to be carriers of genetic conditions may still be able to donate their sperm; however, you will be advised to have blood tests to check you do not also carry this gene. You will also need to sign a disclaimer with the company to state you have been informed of the condition.

Our advice would be to consider a different donor.

At each subsequent donation further questions are asked regarding the donor’s lifestyle and screening bloods are required to be rechecked every 6 months as a minimum.

Once donated, sperm samples are quarantined for 180 days to ensure screening bloods remain clear.

All donors are invited to write a personal statement about themselves and their reason for donating. Please be aware that not all the information written in these statements can be checked and there is no guarantee the information that can be checked, is checked.

Please also consider if there is enough information available for an inquisitive teenager. This may be the only insight into their genetic background for several years and a statement that just states “money” as a reason for donating may lead to a disappointed and frustrated teenager.



Cryos are a Danish company and they have a website where you can browse the profile of the donors. This includes information such as hair and eye colour, ethnicity, education and a self-description.  It will also include their Rhesus and CMV status which are important to check when selecting your donor.  Some donors also have photos of themselves as adults, which you can view for an additional fee.  As part of the search, Cryos ask for the country where you are receiving treatment, so that you only see UK compliant donors.

The samples are available in varying qualities from MOT5 to MOT50, in washed (IUI) and unwashed (ICI) states.

Cryos charge for a pregnancy slot and the sperm will need to be shipped in liquid nitrogen. The cost for all of this is approximately £3000. Discounts may be available and staff will inform you of any current codes.



Xytex are based in the USA and their website allows potential recipients to browse the basic profile of the donors. This includes information such as eye, hair and skin colour, build and medical history. It will also include their Rhesus and CMV status which are important to check when selecting your donor. Each donor also has little flags at the bottom of their profile indicating the countries where their sperm can be used. For use in the UK, the donor must have a Union Jack Flag on their profile. This indicates they comply with the HFEA rules and regulations.

Xytex also offer an enhanced profile which provides medical and social information on the donor and their family. It may also include a photograph. Xytex does charge to access this information and it is your choice whether you wish to pay.

You do not need to access this to choose the donor.

Xytex offer washed and unwashed samples which are suitable for Donor Insemination (DI). A washed sample (IUI ready) has already been ‘prepared’ by Xytex for immediate use and the unwashed sample (ICI ready) is frozen in its most natural state. There are also  IVF(ART) samples available which have a lower concentration of motile sperm.

Xytex also charge for shipping. The cost is the same whether shipping 1 vial or 6. This is something to consider when ordering. The cost for 3 vials of unwashed donor sperm is approximately £2500, although you will be charged in US$.

Price lists are available on the Xytex website. Xytex also have a Facebook page where they sometime have special offers if you wish to consider this.



Semovo are based in the UK, in Manchester. They do not have an online catalogue to search for donors.  Once you have all your results, you can complete a form online and Semovo will send profiles for 2 donors matching your request. If these are not suitable more can be requested.

The samples are provided unprepared, in the most natural state so our embryologists will prepare the sample at our Unit.

The cost of 3 vials is approximately £2200.

London Sperm Bank


London Sperm Bank also offers samples in differing motilities and preparations.  We recommend purchasing samples of ICI (unwashed) or IUI (washed) for IUI treatment. For IVF we recommend purchasing ICI, IUI or IVF(washed). If you wish to purchase IVF-unwashed quality then we would recommend purchasing more than 1 vial per IVF cycle. Please refer to our guidance chart.

Sperm Quality

There are a number of different clinics that supply donor sperm of varying quality, volume and states.

We have reviewed what each clinic supplies and used our experience of each type of sample, to advise you on the type of sperm to order depending on the type of treatment you are embarking upon.

This aims to optimise the yield of sperm appropriate for your treatment type. You may wish to order sperm of a higher or lower quality, however this may either be costly and unnecessary, or go against our recommendation.

You will be asked to complete a Donor Confirmation form prior to treatment.

 Donor InseminationIVF
Cryos1 vial  – ICI (MOT20) or 1 vial – IUI (MOT10) or multiples of lower quality E.g. 2 vials – ICI (MOT10)       4 vials – ICI (MOT5)       2 vials – IUI (MOT5)1 vial – IUI (MOT10) or 1 vial – ICI (MOT20) or multiples of lower quality E.g. 2 vials – IUI (MOT5)       2 vials – ICI (MOT10)
Xytex1 vial – ICI unwashed or 1 vial – IUI washed1 vial – ICI unwashed or 1 vial – IUI washed or 1 vial – IVF (ART)
Semovo1 vial – IUI unwashed1 vial – IUI unwashed  
London Sperm Bank1 vial – ICI unwashed or 1 vial – IUI washed1 vial – ICI unwashed or IUI washed or 1 vial- IVF (washed) or 2 vials – IVF (unwashed)

Once you have Chosen a Donor

Please do not order sperm until all your blood results are back and you have had your appointment with the counsellor.

Once you have selected your donor, you will need to;

  1. Complete our Donor Confirmation form confirming the donor number, type and quantity ordered, and return this to the unit.
  2. Contact the donor clinic directly to order the sperm. You will need to inform the donor clinic that the sperm is to be shipped to Gateshead Fertility Unit.
  3. Once you have paid for the sperm the donor clinic will liaise with unit staff, who will check the suitability of sperm quality, ensure the required documentation has been sent and then organise delivery.

During this time, you will receive your appointment to see the counsellor and once the sperm has been ordered and counselling completed, you will receive your appointment to sign consent forms.

Contact Us

If at any time you feel you have further questions or are unsure of the next step, please feel free to contact a member of the laboratory team at the unit.


You may find the following websites useful: