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Lifecycle logo

Lifecycle, working together for donor conception

Lifecycle is a campaign that aims to find new ways of improving sperm and egg donation in the UK.


Infertility affects around one in six couples in the UK; approximately 3.5 million people. Some of those affected by infertility will need the help of a sperm or egg donor to be given any opportunity of having a family.

A shortage of sperm and egg donors in the UK is leading to long waiting lists driving people to access potentially unsafe unregulated services or treatment abroad.

Following a review of donation policies in 2011, the HFEA set up a National Donation Strategy Group to look at new ways of improving donation. The Group recently launched the campaign ‘Lifecycle, working together for donor conception.’

About Lifecycle

Lifecycle brings together experts with a wide range of experience in donation to:

  • increase awareness of donation
  • improve the ‘customer service’ that donors receive when they contact clinics
  • investigate ways in which donors can be encouraged to provide helpful and appropriate information about themselves for future donor-conceived families
  • improve information provision to all those affected by donation.

         The Group consists of people with diverse experiences, including non-licensed donation services, people with experience of blood, organ or tissue donation, as well as those with experience of sperm and egg donation.

The Group is facilitated by the HFEA but operates separately from it.

Lifecycle leaflets

A number of leaflets have been developed to help patients and donors, which can be downloaded below.


Sperm donor leaflet thumbnailSperm donation and the law 

Are you thinking about donating sperm but unsure of the legal implications? This leaflet will help you decide which route to take.



Current donors leaflet thumbnailFor current egg and sperm donors

Are you a donor and thinking about what message to write for any children born from your donation? This leaflet will help you consider what to write about yourself.



Patients leaflet thumbnailFor patients thinking about donor conception using donor sperm

Are you thinking about having donor conception treatment but unsure about which route to take? This leaflet will help you make such a decision.



Sperm donor leaflet thumbnailTelling your child about your donation

Information for existing or potential sperm or egg donors who want to share their decision with their own children.



Sperm donor leaflet thumbnailFinding out about your donor’s personal and family medical history

This leaflet aims to help parents of donor-conceived children answer questions they may be asked by their GP or other health professional about their child’s family medical history.



Lifecycle flowcharts

A series of flowcharts has been developed to help clinics provide sperm and egg donors with the best possible service. These flowcharts set out the key steps involved in the donation process. There is also a flowchart aimed at potential sperm donors to help them consider their options.


The donation process for egg donors

This best practice flowchart for fertility clinics sets out the key steps involved in the egg donation process.



The donation process for known egg donors

This best practice flowchart for fertility clinics sets out the key steps involved in the egg donation process when the donor is known to the recipients.



The donation process for known sperm donors

This best practice flowchart for fertility clinics sets out the key steps involved in the sperm donation process when the donor is known to the recipients.



The sperm donation process

This best practice flowchart for fertility clinics sets out the key steps involved in the sperm donation process.



Thinking about becoming a sperm donor?

This flowchart provides information on the options available to those thinking about becoming a sperm donor. 



If you would like to receive hard copies of the above leaflets; or if you would like to spread the word about Lifecycle and add these leaflets to your own website, please contact the HFEA.

For further information please email Joanne Anton, HFEA Policy Manager.


Page last updated: 13 July 2015