On 1st September 2023 the criteria for NHS funded storage will come into line with the current NHS criteria for treatment cycles.   Please see our news page for further details.  

The Assisted Conception Unit work closely with the University of Dundee.  This includes supporting students from the MSc course to come and shadow within the Unit.  The following is the link to the Facebook page for the MSc course.  It contains up-to-date information about the course and to reproductive medicine.  


Donating Eggs for Research

We have an active research programme taking place within the ACU and alongside Dundee University . Each project is approved by the local ethics committee and we are licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

You will have the opportunity to indicate whether you would like to find out more about our research. If we give you further information on these projects, or meet with you to discuss them, you are under no obligation to take part, and it is very important that you understand your decision will not affect your fertility treatment, now or in the future. Should you wish to take part in any of these studies, your anonymity and confidentiality will be assured.

Details on the projects can be found on the notice board in the waiting area of the ACU, and information sheets are available from reception.  




  • The New Chocolate Factory Gallery

Would you like to support research undertaken by the University of Dundee?  The following research projects are underway. 

Understanding Sperm Function and Dysfunction

Dr. Sarah Martins da Silva and Professor Christopher Barratt

We are inviting you to take part in a research study

Before you choose whether or not to take part, we want you to understand why we are doing the study. We also want to tell you what it will involve if you agree to take part.  Please take time to read this information carefully. You can ask us any questions you have and talk to other people about it if you want. We will do our best to answer your questions and give you any more information you ask for. You do not have to decide straight away.

Background to the study

Male fertility problems are common and estimated to affect 1 in 15 men. Despite the scale of the problem, our understanding of how sperm work, and why they don’t, is pretty limited. Our research aims to increase understanding of the biology underlying sperm function. We are particularly interested in how sperm swim, find and fertilise an egg, as well as understanding calcium signalling within sperm cells. We use a variety of experimental techniques to monitor sperm swimming and response to naturally occurring chemicals, such as progesterone, as well as environmental toxins and drug treatments. 

What will happen to me if I take part?

You will be asked to produce a sperm sample as part of your fertility investigations or treatment. Following your diagnostic test or treatment, any left-over sample is normally destroyed and discarded by the clinic. We are asking if we can use the left-over part of your sample for our research projects. Clinical details from your medical records or fertility treatment may also be collected (for example prescribed medication, dietary supplements, whether you smoke) to help our understanding of experimental findings.

There is no payment or expense if you consent to participate.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is up to you to choose. Taking part in this study is entirely up to you.  You can choose to take part or choose not to take part. If you choose to take part, you can stop the study at any time.  You do not have to give a reason for not taking part or for stopping. If you do not want to take part or change your mind and want to stop the study, the medical care you get and your relationship with the medical or nursing staff looking after you will not be affected.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The proposed research is unlikely to have any direct benefit to you. However, the information and knowledge we will gain may benefit patients in the future.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

The study involves use of your surplus semen sample. As such, there are no risks or additional procedures, and you do not need to remain in hospital longer than would normally be the case. Your semen sample is used for research purposes only. Any sample (isolated sperm and semen) that remains following our experiments is destroyed at the end of the day.

What about Covid19?

It is important that you follow current guidance to minimise spread of Covid19. You must wear a face covering when attending hospital and wash your hands/use alcohol gel. You should not attend if you have any symptoms of Covid19 (persistent cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell) and instead stay home and arrange a test. Further information is available online: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

Who is organising and funding this research?

This study is being sponsored by the University of Dundee. It is being funded by the University of Dundee as well as private and public funding sources. Part of this study is an educational (PhD) project. The research is organised by Dr Sarah Martins da Silva.

What will happen with the information collected about me?

Identifiable information about you and information collected about you during the study will be stored by NHS Tayside. Only specified members of the research team will have access to this information. Your private information will be kept permanently and securely by NHS Tayside as part of your medical records.

Your anonymised coded study data will be stored securely on password-protected database(s) in the University of Dundee and kept for research and publication purposes. If you would like to be informed about future studies that you might be interested in, we will ask you to sign a consent to allow us to hold and use your contact details.

Information which identifies you will not be published or shared. However, your anonymised study data (no identifying information) may be shared with other researchers in the UK and/or internationally.  

What if something goes wrong?

If you are concerned about your participation in the study, you have the right to discuss your concern with a researcher involved in carrying out the study or a doctor involved in your care.

If you have a complaint about your participation in the study first of all you should talk to Dr Sarah Martins da Silva. You can also make a formal complaint. You can make a complaint to a senior member of the research team or to the Complaints Officer for NHS Tayside: Complaints and Feedback Team, NHS Tayside, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee DD1 9SY. Freephone: 0800 027 5507. Email: feedback.tayside@nhs.net

If you think you have come to harm due to taking part in the study, there are no automatic arrangements to get financial compensation.  You might have the right to make a claim for compensation. If you wish to make a claim, you should think about getting independent legal advice, but you might have to pay for your legal costs. 


The University of Dundee is sponsoring the study. The University of Dundee has a policy of public liability insurance which provides legal liability to cover damages, costs and expenses of claims. As the study involves University of Dundee staff carrying out clinical research on NHS Tayside patients, these staff hold honorary contracts with Tayside Health Board. This means they will be covered under Tayside’s membership of the CNORIS scheme. NHS Health Trusts in England taking part as study sites have membership of a scheme like CNORIS from the NHS Litigation Authority (NLA)

Who has reviewed this study?

This trial/study has been reviewed and given a favourable ethical opinion by South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee 01 (SESREC01), who are responsible for reviewing research conducted in humans. SESREC01 does not have any objections to this study going ahead.

Contact details for further information.

If you would like any further information, please contact Dr Sarah Martins da Silva, Reproductive Medicine Research Group (RMRG) University of Dundee Ninewells Hospital and Medical School Dundee DD1 9SY s.martinsdasilva@dundee.ac.uk.Tel: +44 (0)1382 383201.


Thank you for taking time to read this information and for considering taking part in this study.  Please ask for more information when you attend your appointment at Ward 35.  There is a consent form and patient information leaflet available and there are copies within the Unit.