A better path to parenthood for families using donor semen.

The Béa Applicator does not require intercourse to be used, and is a great option for you if you are building your family using donor semen. Before using donor semen with the Béa Applicator, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you and your family are safe.

Finding a sperm donor

In the UK, it unfortunately isn't possible to get frozen sperm from donor banks delivered to a home address. When using a sperm donor, there are two main options:

  1. Fertility Clinics

    If you use a sperm donor through a HFEA-licensed UK fertility clinic there are very few risks and all parties are protected. The sperm donor will have no legal rights or responsibilities to any children born with their sperm, and they are limited to donate to up to 10 families. It is possible to have sperm from a donor bank sent to the fertility clinic of your choice.

  2. Known Sperm Donors

    You may have someone in mind to donate sperm for your treatment, this individual is a Known Donor. Sperm from known donors can be used for treatment in a fertility clinic of your choice, but also for home insemination through a private arrangement. There some simple steps you need to take to ensure you are safe if you choose to proceed with a private arrangement.

Conceiving with a known sperm donor? Here are the basics

You should get legal support in order to draw up a donor agreement before you go forward with any type of treatment. It's important to note that there is no limit on the number of families that donor can create with their donated sperm through private arrangements. Some unregulated donors have reported conceiving several hundred children, and whilst this is rare, it is important to think about the possible implications this could have for your child. and you may want to consider what implications that could have for you and your future child.  

The Béa Sperm Donor Checklist

1. Find a donor

You might have someone in mind to use as a known donor. Alternatively you can order donor sperm from a sperm bank or use a donor introduction website. Most donor sperm banks don’t ship to home addresses and will only have sperm samples sent to licensed UK fertility clinics. Some clinics will release samples for home insemination, however it’s not standard practice. You can check if a fertility clinic will release samples to you and explore online banks like XytexCryos or European Sperm Bank or find a donor through a connection platform like Pride Angel.

2. Get legal support

It’s important to seek independent legal advice before drawing up a donor agreement. This will be a good opportunity to discuss legal parenthood, who’s recorded on the birth certificate, who will have financial responsibility for your child and, if there is a problem, how the family court will deal with it. If you are a married couple or civil partners at the time you conceive, then you will normally both be treated as your child’s legal parents and can both be named on the birth certificate as parents. However, if you are single, unmarried or in a non-civil partnered relationship and you conceive through home insemination using donor sperm, then your sperm donor will be considered the child’s legal father. The donor will have to relinquish their rights in order for a partner or other parent to become a legal parent through adoption. Your partner will need to go through a court process to secure legal parenthood status.

3. Create a donor agreement

A donor agreement may help manage the legal issues associated with sperm donation. While a donor agreement is not legally binding, the process of putting an agreement in place can be helpful in managing everyone’s expectations and may be of evidential benefit to a court dealing with any future disputes. Be sure to discuss with your donor if they have any children of their own, if they have any children conceived through private arrangements and if they plan on donating again. The Donor Conception Network is a UK based charity offering information, support and community to donor conception families and has helpful resources for those conceiving with donor sperm.

4. Will there be compensation for the donation?

You and your donor may want to discuss if they want compensation for the donation and how much that might be. Donors at UK regulated clinics can receive £35 in compensation per clinic visit, as set out by the HFEA.

5. Have a semen analysis performed

You should consider having the sperm tested to confirm that the sample will be a suitable quality for insemination. The semen analysis results should have normal parameters to be considered suitable for use. You could have this performed at any private fertility clinic, alternatively an at-home sperm test kit. Check out Exseed Health and their kit. If you are uncertain of the status of your sperm donor, or your sperm donor is unwilling to undergo a semen analysis, contact the Béa Care Team. 

6. Get screened for infectious diseases

To ensure your safety and the safety of your future child, it’s important that your donor is screened for infectious diseases (such as sexually transmitted infections, STIs). STIs are extremely common but most are easily treatable. All donors should be screened for sexually transmitted infections with a blood test for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis and a urine test for chlamydia. You should have a check up yourself too, as STIs can affect your chances of getting pregnant or can be passed on to your baby. Visit your GP if you have any symptoms or are worried you may have an STI, alternatively you can explore the self-sampling kits from Sexual Health London

7. Get tested for genetic conditions

A chromosome analysis (karyotype) and a test for cystic fibrosis is recommended for all donors. The karyotype is a basic genetic test which checks that the chromosomes in your cells are structurally normal. Other tests that might be considered are genetic tests which determine whether or not they are a carrier of the genetic disease(s) most common in people who share their ethnic background (this could include sickle-cell disease and thalassemia). It’s unlikely you’ll be able to access these tests on the NHS, however you can check with your GP. Alternatively, these can be performed at a cost at a private fertility clinic.

8. Consider counselling

It’s natural to focus on getting pregnant, but counselling can help you work through the long term considerations, like the emotional aspect of treatment or how to tell your child about their donor. Licensed BICA counsellors can support you with emotional and legal implications around your treatment and can assist you when you move forward with your plans.


Using the Béa Treatment with a donor? Read Navigating your treatment with donor sperm for tips on how to plan your cycle!