Sperm Donor
Guide To Donating Sperm: Pay, Requirements And Screenings

ART treatments


How To Donate Sperm


What Is A Sperm Donor?
What Are The Requirements For Sperm Donors?
How Much Do Sperm Donors Earn?
How Do I Become A Sperm Donor?
What Is The Interview Process?
Will I Remain Anonymous?

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Sperm Donation

Assisted Reproductive Technology
What Is A Sperm Donor?

A sperm donor is a man who provides a 'donation' of his sperm to help a woman who is not his sexual partner become pregnant. Sperm banks pay donors to make deposits of sperm, which are then frozen until purchased by a woman or couple seeking to become pregnant.

What Are The Requirements For Sperm Donors?

It is a buyer’s market, and for this reason sperm donors need to jump through a lot of hoops before being put on a sperm bank's list. General criteria are:

Age: Firstly you need to be aged between 19 and 39, although some sperm banks have a cut off at 35.
Height: Most buyers want a donor who is between 5 feet 10 and 6 feet 2 high. No short men need apply.
Weight: You should be a healthy weight for your height, no overweight men need apply. While scientists have not proven that obesity is genetic, it appears prospective parents aren't taking any risks.
Education: You need to be a graduate of a 4-year college or at least have completed 2 years at college.
Hair and Eye Color: Cryos International, one of the world's largest sperm banks, recently stopped accepting donors with red hair (due to lack of demand).
Sperm Quality: You need to have a sperm count of 70 million per milliliter. 70 percent of that sperm must be motile (moving/swimming) and 60 percent should have a 'normal healthy' appearance (morphology). A sperm donor must have better quality sperm than the average guy because some will die in the freezing and thawing process.

How Much Do Sperm Donors Earn?

The fees can vary from as little as $30 to as much as $200. Good looking men with high quality sperm are some of the top earners - and if you could add a doctorate to this, you could command premium rates (this is why most sperm banks will be located near top colleges). For most donors, the rate is $35 to $50 per specimen. A donator is only allowed to be responsible for the creation of 10 children. This minimizes the risk of of any offspring meeting and procreating in the future (incest). Donors can potentially make up to $6,000 in a year.  

How Do I Become A Sperm Donor?

Most sperm banks have an online application form. This form is highly detailed, requiring information on your health and that of your family going back 4 generations. Conditions or issues which could disqualify you include:

Taking pituitary-derived human growth hormones.
Receiving an organ transplant.
Injecting illicit drugs or sniffing cocaine.
Tattoo or ear or body piercing's in the past 12 months.
Acupuncture treatments involving needles in the past 12 months.
Sex with another male.
Being in prison or jail for more than 72 hours.
A previous sexually transmitted disease, even if it is cured.

A family history of the following conditions could also eliminate you:
Attention Deficit Disorder
Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.
Scleroderma (skin disease)
Sjogren's Syndrome
Congenital Heart Disease
Cystic Fibrosis
Diabetes, type 1 or type 2.
Down Syndrome
Drug Abuse
Dyslexia reading disorder.
Eczema, skin condition.
Blindness including color blindness.
Fragile X
Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease
Hepatitis, all types.
Heart Attack
Heart Disease
High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
Kidney Disease
Cleft Palate
Alzheimer's Disease
Huntington Disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Parkinson’s Disease
Neural Tube Defect
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Tay Sachs
Thyroid Disorders
Tuberculosis (TB)

What Is The Interview Process?

After submitting your online application, you will either receive a nice letter politely declining your request, or you will receive a call to come in and continue the application process. On arrival you will be asked to provide a sperm sample for analysis in a laboratory. To do this, you will need to abstain from all sexual activity for up to 5 days beforehand, and you will need to produce the sample in a private room at the center. A sample of blood will also be taken to screen for diseases and genetic disorders. You will need to sign a consent form allowing the center to contact your family doctor to ask their opinion on your suitability as a donor. Finally you will be interviewed by the center and legal issues surrounding donation will be explained to you.

If you've made it this far ....congratulations!
90 to 95 percent of applicants are eliminated by this stage.

Once You Are Accepted...

Most banks require you to sign a contract for 6 to 12 months, stating your agreement to come into the center once or twice a week to donate sperm. Your payments will be held back for 6 months. None of your specimens will be released for sale until you have completed a second set of blood tests after 6 months. This is a quarantine period which allows any diseases which may have been missed first time round, to rear their head. If you pass this test, you will receive your previous 6 months payments.

Will I Remain Anonymous?

Yes, in America you still have the right to anonymity - although some clinics now advertise they have donors open to some contact with any children born. In other countries, the United Kingdom for example, both egg and sperm donation is no longer anonymous. This means children born as a result of either type of donation have the right when they turn 18 to find out who their biological parent is. This has led to rapid decline in donations in the United Kingdom as many donors naturally do not want this connection. While you are still protected in the United States you need to ask yourself, what if the law changes in the future. How will I feel? Times are changing. Several court cases have already have questioned the donor's right to remain anonymous. The only good thing is that any changes in law is not likely to be restropective. In other words, donors before a change in law are likely to stay protected.

  Related Articles on ART Procedures

For more fertility treatments, see the following:

Extracting sperm for IVF: Alternative to sperm donation.
ICSI procedure: Injecting sperm into egg.
Egg freezing: Freeze your eggs and delay childbearing.
Donor cytoplasm: When your eggs need a little boost.

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