Regional Fertility Centre
The Regional Fertility Centre has created a patient information video which includes an overview of what patients can expect when they are referred to the Regional Fertility Centre in Belfast Trust for fertility investigations and treatment
The 27th April 2023 marked International Donor Conception Awareness Day, and the HFEA are urging donors to update their contact details so donor conceived individuals can be provided with accurate information when donor identifiable information is released.
As the first donor conceived children become eligible to find their donor since the removal of donor anonymity in the UK, HFEA data shows that over 750 donor conceived people can find their donor by the end of 2024, with the first donor conceived individual eligible to apply in October 2023.
As the HFEA prepare to support the first people affected by the historic changes to donor anonymity law, we ask you to please help us by encouraging anyone who donated sperm or eggs after 1 April 2005 at the RFC to update your contact details to avoid disappointing donor conceived individuals.
To change your address or any other details, please contact the RFC on 028 9615 9600 and select Admin. Please also ensure you change these details with your GP to avoid details reverting to your previous address on our system.
From 1 July 2022, a new law means that:
1. All patients can store their eggs, sperm and embryos for their own treatment for up to 55 years, as long as they reconsent every 10 years.
2. Donors can store their eggs or sperm for use up to 55 years and do not need to renew their consent.
3. As long as patients consent to their sperm, eggs or embryos being used in the event of their death, they can remain in storage up to 10 years from they pass away.
The change in the law will also mean that new HFEA consent forms must be used. All patients will be contacted by the unit in due course to renew storage consents.
Renewing your consent:
The RFC will attempt to contact you at least 12 months before the expiry of each consent period to ask whether you wish to continue storage or not. When contacted, it is very important that you reply to us and let us know your wishes.
Change of Contact Details, Circumstances and Keeping in touch:
It is essential that you keep us informed of any changes to your contact details, GP or to your relationship status. We sometimes find it difficult to contact patients after long periods of time particularly if they have moved house or country. It is also important that you make the RFC aware of any changes in your circumstances which may affect your consent decision (for example, if you have separated from your partner or have a new partner).
For further information please click here.
On 1 July 2022, new laws came into effect regarding the storage of sperm, eggs and embryos. The Health and Care Act 2022 introduced amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, increasing the 10 year statutory storage limit.
This law change allows you to store your material for up to 55 years if you wish. There are also new provisions relating to the use of your material after your death or in the event of mental incapacity.
In line with these changes, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) have issued new consent forms that need to be completed by anyone having treatment after 1 July 2022. Patients who previously consented to treatment will be required to consent again using these new forms.
This extra step is currently causing a backlog in the Nursing Consenting Service. We appreciate your patience and are working very hard to resolve this issue. We would ask that you do not contact the Nursing Consenting Service during this time. We will contact you as soon as possible to get your consents completed.
If any changes relate to your current consent to storage, you will be contacted by the Regional Fertility Centre in due course.
The group has structured a policy for supporting patients through their fertility journey in conjunction with medical treatment, addressing mental welfare and the emotional experience of care before, during and after treatment.