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Am I eligible to donate my cord?

To make sure we collect the healthiest cord blood possible, we have strict criteria for donors. 

Location

To donate your cord, you must be planning to give birth in one of five hospitals in the UK: 

 At the moment you can only donate if you’re giving birth at one of these five hospitals. You can donate at another five London hospitals via the NHS Cord Blood Bank

Pregnancy and genetics

You can’t donate your baby’s cord blood if:

  • you’re carrying a surrogate pregnancy (you’re carrying the child to be raised by another couple)
  • you or the baby’s biological father has ever been infected with HIV, hepatitis B or C or human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)
  • you and the baby’s biological father are blood relations (first cousins or closer)
  • you’ve had chickenpox, shingles or toxoplasmosis during this pregnancy
  • you’ve received a ‘live’ vaccine, for example, for rubella or yellow fever during this pregnancy
  • you or your baby’s biological father has a history of rapid progressive dementia or degenerative neurological disease (Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, for example), including those of unknown origin.

Illness

You can’t donate your baby’s cord blood if:

  • you have Sickle cell disease or Thalassaemia (this does not include trait or carrier status)
  • you’ve ever had malaria
  • you’ve ever had cancer (this does not include a treated melanoma)
  • you’ve ever been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (also known as CJD, vCJD, human mad cow disease or human scrapie)
  • you have a history of a disease of unknown origin, or have had a disease that couldn’t be diagnosed.

Treatment

You can’t donate your baby’s cord blood if:

  • you’ve ever had fertility treatment with human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) (This won’t be the case if you had fertility treatment in the UK after 2003.)
  • you’ve ever received hormones derived from the human pituitary gland (such as growth hormones, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone or thyroid stimulating hormone) (This does not include Thyroxine or Levothyroxine.)
  • you’ve ever had grafts (transplanted tissue) of cornea, sclera (both parts of the eye) or dura mater (part of brain/spinal cord) outside the UK or in the UK before 1985
  • you’ve ever had brain (neuro) surgery
  • you’ve ever had a tissue or organ transplant, including if the transplant didn’t come from a human (a pig heart valve, for example)
  • you’ve received a blood transfusion or a blood derived product since 1980
  • you have received immunosuppressive medications (steroids, immunosuppressive drugs, antimetabolites, antibodies directed against parts of the immune system) in the last 12 months.

Sexual history

You can’t donate your baby’s cord blood if:

  • you’ve ever been given money for sex
  • anyone you’ve had sex with in the last 12 months has injected themselves with recreational or body building drugs
  • you’ve had sex with a known haemophiliac or anyone with a blood disorder in the last 6 months
  • you’ve had sex with a man who has ever had sex with another man in the last 4 months
  • you’ve had sex with anyone in the past 12 months who may be HTLV positive, or may be a hepatitis B/C carrier or who has suffered from Hepatitis A or Hepatitis E
  • you or any sexual partners in the last 12 months have had a diagnosis of, or suffered symptoms of, Zika after travel to an affected area.

Other

You can’t donate your baby’s cord blood if:

  • you’ve ever injected yourself with recreational or body-building drugs. 

 If you plan to give birth in one of our five cord hospitals and think you are eligible to donate your cord, you can register to donate below.