The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will decide whether to increase the level of compensation paid to sperm donors and egg donors, tomorrow. It is illegal for donor to be paid within the UK, but currently they may receive up to £250 per course or cycle of donation, plus travel expenses. Many experts in the field believe that these modest payments may be holding potential donors back at a time of real shortage.
In an attempt to increase sperm and egg donors, the HFEA will decide upon a suggested increase, giving egg donors £750 a time – as they do in Spain – while adopting the Danish system of £35 per donation for men. Over a donation course this could amount to at least £450. But before you decide to rush to the local clinic to cash in, be warned this extra money reflects the fact that there is much more to donation than most people think.
The National Gamete Donation Trust says that women must undergo a series of tests to donate their eggs (including psychological and blood pressure), before being given courses of hormones to suppress their menstrual cycle and then stimulate the growth and maturation of eggs. The eggs are then harvested under either general or local anesthetic, through a needle injected into the vagina. Therefore any increase in compensation would be intended to reflect this commitment.
Donating sperm through a clinic does not simply involve being sent off into a room with a magazine and cup. Rather blood samples are taken, sperm is tested and donors will then be asked to attend the clinic once or twice a week for three to four months (abstaining from sex and alcohol for three to five days before each visit). After six months, donors are tested once more to make sure they had not contracted any infections at the time of giving the donations (as some infections do not show for several months).
Donors must then seriously consider the fact that any child created from donor sperm or eggs now has the right to know of their donor’s identity. With all this involved, it's a wonder the price is not much higher, but as said by the National Donation Trust, money is far from the point for donors: "People do this through the kindness of their hearts to help others."
Article extracts: 17th October 2011 www.guardian.co.uk
Read more about donating sperm or eggs to a couple of your choice at www.prideangel.com