Cambridgeshire clinic offers free IVF to sperm donors and their loved ones

Harry and Jack West were conceived through IVF. Credit: ITV Anglia

A private fertility clinic in Cambridgeshire is offering men the chance to get free IVF treatment for their friends and family - but only if they come forward and donate sperm first.

Bourn Hall Clinic introduced the scheme to encourage more people to come forward. It’s been more than 40 years since the first baby was born there, and while the science has come a long way, the problem now is a shortage of donors.

The number of donors has dropped dramatically since 2005, when a change of rules meant donors could no longer remain anonymous. Often knowing someone who's having a problem conceiving is a big motivator.

The number of donors has fallen since rule changes in 2005. Credit: ITV Anglia
Dr Mike McNamee says men tend to donate sperm either for love or money. Credit: ITV Anglia

Nina and Fraser West, from Letchworth, took part in the clinic's sharing programme.

They received free IVF treatment - allowing them to conceive their sons Harry and Jack - in return for helping another family by donating.

Nina and Fraser West took part in the clinic's sharing programme. Credit: ITV Anglia
Nina and Fraser West say they wouldn't have been able to afford IVF without the sharing programme. Credit: ITV Anglia

The scheme has now been widened to allow donors to nominate a friend or family member to receive the treatment.

Potential donors are screened to make sure they aren’t being pressurised by loved ones desperate to have a child.

The clinic screens donors to make sure screening and counseling are in place to make sure that coercion doesn't happen. Credit: ITV Anglia

IVF is a gruelling and expensive process. Bourn Hall Clinic says donors now have the chance to provide free treatment for a loved one - and hope for a stranger.

Click below to read the full report by ITV Anglia’s Claire McGlasson.