I’m transgender. Can I donate?

Yes, but there are a couple of restrictions. 

If you’ve had sex with a male or transgender partner in the last 3 months, you’ll need to wait 3 months from that contact before you can donate.

Your biology can also affect the patient. For instance, we can’t use platelets from female donors because of the increased risk of a rare but dangerous reaction called transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) that’s associated with antibodies in plasma. The restriction also applies to trans male donors as well as trans female donors, who are affected by fail-safe mechanisms built in to Lifeblood’s blood management system.  Note that this restriction only affects platelet donation - female and transgender donors can still give plasma and whole blood donations.

There are some other important biological differences that affect blood donation, many of them related to your welfare. For example, female donors have a smaller blood volume than their male counterparts of the same height and weight, so the amount of blood we can safely collect is smaller. The way we interpret some blood tests such as the haemoglobin test changes too. 

Are there different procedures for collecting blood from transgender donors?  
We make some adjustments to account for biological differences that may be affected by hormonal treatments. That’s why we’ve developed specific protocols for assessing haemoglobin, iron levels and blood volume. That means that if you’re on hormone replacement therapy, you can still donate.

What if I have had gender affirmation surgery?
Our protocols for transgender donors aren’t affected by whether or not you’ve had gender affirmation surgery.

Want to know more?
For more information, including if you’re taking pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP), visit our sexual activity page.

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