Who can give blood
On this page:
- Who can donate
- Who can't donate
- Who might have to wait to donate
- Female donors
- How often can I give blood?
To donate blood you will need to:
- be generally fit and well
- be aged between 17 and 65
- weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and 25 stone (158kg)
- have suitable veins (we will check these before you donate)
- meet all donor eligibility criteria (we will check this with you before you donate)
You can't donate blood if you:
- have had most types of cancer
- have some heart conditions
- have received blood, platelets, plasma or any other blood products after 1 January 1980
- have tested positive for HIV
- have had an organ transplant
- are a hepatitis B carrier
- are a hepatitis C carrier
- have injected non-prescribed drugs including body-building and injectable tanning agents. You may be able to give if a doctor prescribed the drugs
There are other medical conditions that may mean you can't donate.
Visit our health, eligibility and travel section for a full list, or give us a call on 0300 123 2323 to check if you can donate.
Sexual activity that means you may have to wait
You may have to wait up to three months before you can donate if:
- you have had anal sex with a new partner in the last three months
- you finished taking Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in the last three months
in the last three months you have had sexual contact with a partner who is:
- HIV positive
- HTLV positive
- a hepatitis B carrier
- a hepatitis C carrier
- syphilis positive
- has received money or drugs for sex
- has injected non-prescribed drugs including body-building and injectable tanning agents
Other reasons why you might need to wait
You will need to wait before you can donate if you:
- feel ill
- are pregnant or had a baby in the last 6 months
- have recently got a tattoo or piercing
- travel to and from certain countries outside the UK
- are undergoing assessment or investigations for a medical condition. For example, heart condition
Check how much blood you have
If you are a woman under 20 and you weigh under 10st 3lb (65kg) or are under 5' 6" (168cm) tall you will need to check you have enough blood to donate safely.
Use this tool to check if you have enough blood to donate.
This calculation uses your height and weight but is different to BMI (body mass index).
Men can give blood every 12 weeks and women can give blood every 16 weeks.
This is because men generally have higher iron levels than women.
If you have genetic hemochromatosis, you may be able to donate as often as every six weeks.