It’s a well-known fact that men are less likely than women to visit their GP, often due to uncertainty and embarrassment. We also understand that sperm donation is not the easiest thing to talk about.
So with that in mind we’ve provided you with answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Is donating sperm the right choice for me?
Sperm donors can successfully make the dream of parenthood come true for people struggling with natural conception. Some men are happy to become sperm donors while others decide it’s not for them. Everyone is different so only you can truly decide what feels right for you. Gain as much information as you can to help reach your decision and share your thoughts and concerns with a loved one. Reading the online testimonies of men who have themselves donated sperm can give you great insight. Don’t be afraid to seek additional support from the many organisations out there who speak with people like you every day.
What will happen if I change my mind?
It’s fine to change your mind so don’t worry. The staff working with you will fully understand and respect your decision.
Does it matter that my partner/children don’t want me to donate?
While there is no law preventing you donating sperm without consent from your family, having their blessing can be important. Partners and children can provide a good source of support and in some cases, the clinic may not accept your sample without it.
Is my age important when donating sperm?
Sperm donors must be over the age of 18 and in most cases no older than 41.
Could I be rejected because of my lifestyle?
There are different criteria for sperm donation across the many clinics and each applicant is assessed on an individual basis. Aspects such as weight, drug misuse and alcohol consumption will be taken into consideration, along with whether you are a smoker.
What should I expect when donating sperm?
You are required to produce a sample by ejaculating into a sterile container that is provided. There are private rooms with a variety of adult material that make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
Can I produce my sample at home and take it to the clinic?
To ensure the sperm is uncontaminated it must be produced in the sterile clinic environment. Every effort is taken to make this procedure as comfortable for you as possible.
Rather than use adult material, can my partner assist with my sample production?
It is essential that sperm samples are produced in isolation to minimise any risk of contamination.
What should I do if I can’t produce a sample when I’m supposed to?
Just let the staff at the clinic know and they can rearrange another time for you to try again. The staff see this happen on a regular basis so don’t worry or feel uncomfortable.
Should I avoid ejaculating before giving my sample?
To achieve the highest quality sperm you are best to avoid ejaculation for three days before producing your sample.
Does my employer need to know about it?
Whether or not you tell your employer about donating sperm is completely up to you.
Do I get paid for donating sperm?
Each time you produce a sample you will be compensated with £35.
How many children will be born using my sperm?
The number of children produced using your sperm donation is unlimited, although there is a maximum of ten families being created.
Will children produced with my sample know who I am?
Ultimately it depends on whether or not the parents disclose the use of a sperm donor. UK law requires sperm donors to register their personal information. Once aged 18, people conceived using your donated sperm will be able to identify you. Although illegal in the UK, donating anonymously remains an option in many countries.
What if I want to know how many times my sperm was used?
Information on how many pregnancies and births resulted from your donation can be shared upon request. The gender of the children and the years they were born can also be revealed.
Can I donate my sperm even though I’m not a father?
Having children of your own makes no difference to your suitability as a sperm donor.
What if I have a previous or existing physical/mental illness?
Physical and mental illness is not necessarily an automatic barrier to becoming a sperm donor. Every situation is different and the clinic will reach a decision based on your individual diagnosis and circumstances.
Will my past medical/cosmetic surgery be a barrier?
The clinic will make a decision depending on your individual procedure and circumstances.
What else is required from me?
As a sperm donor you have no parental rights or responsibilities of the children conceived in this way. You should inform the clinic if you later develop an illness and finally, make sure the personal details stored about you are kept up-to-date.
Does the fact I’m gay mean I can’t be a sperm donor?
Sperm donation is unaffected by your sexual orientation.
What happens if I’m rejected as a donor?
If the clinic determines you as an unsuitable sperm donor they will offer you all the necessary advice and information. You should discuss the reason for being refused with your doctor who can help with any necessary treatment. Counselling is also available free of charge to help you come to terms with things. Make sure you have someone close to confide in who can give some emotional support.