Who can give blood

Find out if you are able to give blood for the first time.

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?

Who can donate 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)

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Become a blood donor

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Who can't donate blood

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.


Who might have to wait to donate blood

There are some health, travel and lifestyle reasons that may stop you from being able to donate blood on a temporary basis.

If you are not sure if you can donate, please call us on 0300 123 23 23 to discuss your situation.

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:


Female donors under 20 years old

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).

Results:
Estimate
Estimate

How often can I give blood?

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.

Register

Become a blood donor

Register