Sperm donation is a procedure in which a man donates semen to help an individual or a couple conceive a baby. Donated sperm can be injected into a woman’s reproductive organs (intrauterine insemination) or used to fertilize mature eggs in a lab (in-vitro fertilization). The use of donated sperm is known as third-party reproduction.
Before you can donate sperm, you must be screened for medical conditions and other risk factors by the sperm bank. Not every man is a candidate for donation. To help you better understand the process, we’ve summarized the general requirements to be a sperm donor.
Most sperm banks require potential donors to be at least 5’8” tall. Some more widely known sperm banks allow for donors to be a minimum of 5’7” tall and others a minimum of 5’9”. If you feel that you are an otherwise excellent candidate and should still be considered despite not meeting the height requirement, reach out to the cryobank as some allow exceptions on height.
To qualify as a sperm donor, you must be between the ages of 19 and 39.
Donors must be currently attending or have graduated from college. Most sperm banks require proof of both secondary and post-secondary education.
Good health is essential to becoming a donor. Potential donors should expect to submit to physical examinations that include a screening for STDs, infectious diseases, genetic disorders, and a detailed examination of both sides of your biological family’s medical history. In order to be accepted into most programs, a potential donor must provide 3 photographs of himself as a child (between 6 months and 12 years of age).
While not every program requires donors to be currently employed, donors must be legally allowed to work in the United States. Specifics on visa applicability varies among sperm bank.
Fully qualified sperm donors are expected to donate at least once per week. The length of time in the program may vary, but, generally, sperm donors are expected to actively participate for 9-12 months. If you are approved, you will sign a contract that commits you to our program for a period of six months to one year (although this is somewhat flexible). You will also commit to visiting the sperm bank at least once a week. You may schedule more frequently if your schedule permits but for a higher sperm count, this is not advised. As an approved program donor, you will also have quarterly blood and urine tests and biannual physical exams to ensure you remain a suitable candidate.
At South Jersey Fertility Center, we have worked with couples and women looking to conceive through donor insemination. We accept donor sperm from reputable sperm banks, but most commonly we work with Cryobiology, Xytex, California Cryobank, Fairfax Cryobank, and Seattle Sperm Bank. Donors are tested by these banks for any infectious diseases and undergo genetic screenings, as well as sign away their paternity rights. After donation, the samples are frozen for 6 months and donors are re-tested for transmittable diseases before the sample is released. Characteristics of the donors are provided to you from the sperm banks and include blood type, height, weight, eye, hair and skin color, ethnicity and profession. Other information may be accessible for some donors, but the donor’s identity will remain anonymous. If you would like to learn more about donor insemination or in-vitro fertilization, please schedule an appointment at one of our offices in the South Jersey area.