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Everything You Need to Know About Donor Sperm

Everything You Need to Know About Donor Sperm

Sperm donor, sperm bottle

Starting your donor search? Or trying to donate sperm? Learn more about how it works, how much donors get paid, and how much it will cost to buy sperm.

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Donor sperm can help individuals and couples start and grow families. However, the donor search can be challenging because you need to consider multiple emotional and legal factors. PreggyFinance has what you need to know.

Is it hard to donate sperm?

A woman in blue scrubs holding a container

According to Stanford University, only 5% of males who apply to be donors meet the criteria for donating sperm. Available donors undergo rigorous screening, including questionnaires, blood and specimen screening, genetic analysis, and physical evaluation, to find a diverse selection of the highest-quality donor sperm.

Personal Sperm Banking

Sperm bank, sperm, container

Sperm banking, also called sperm freezing or sperm cryopreservation, is the process of collecting, freezing, and storing sperm. Driven by the need to enter parenthood and have healthy families or a future family, individuals may opt to freeze their sperm, especially if they have medical conditions or diseases or have to undergo medical procedures or treatments, such as cancer treatment, that affect fertility.

What Is the Process of Using a Known Sperm Donor, Such as a Family Member or Friend?

Person signing legal papers

Known donor sperm donation refers to a process where potential parents use sperm from a donor they know personally, such as a friend or family member. The process requires legal, psychosocial, and cryobank involvement.

It starts with a consultation and medical tests to assess the prospective donor’s suitability. Most licensed clinics require known donors to pass the same medical screening process as unknown donors.

The donor and recipients must undergo implications counseling and sign consent forms to donate. The sperm will then be frozen and quarantined for six months so that the donor can undergo further tests to ensure that the frozen sperm is safe for use in treatment. 

What disqualifies you from being a sperm donor?

Microscopic Observation of Sperm

The perfect donor is one who can produce the healthiest sperm specimens for the healthiest pregnancy (and child). A medical history of autosomal recessive disorders, such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis, can disqualify sperm from a donor program. Intervenous drug users and those who use unprotected sex are also likely not to be cleared for donation by a physician.

Donors who tested positive for infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea wouldn’t qualify, nor would anyone carrying a recessive disease mutation or a vasectomy.

What Is the Difference Between Open Sperm Donors and Anonymous Sperm Donors?

The primary difference between open and anonymous sperm donors lies in the level of contact, support, and information exchange between the donor and any resulting children or recipient families.

Open donors typically agree to disclose their identity to any resulting offspring once they reach a certain age or milestone, such as turning 18. This arrangement allows for potential future contact and the exchange of information between the donor and the offspring if desired.

In contrast, anonymous donor arrangements come with a commitment to keep the donor’s identity confidential. There is typically no access or contact between the donor and the recipient’s family or any children conceived with the donor’s sperm.

Do sperm banks still exist?

Yes. Sperm banks play a crucial role in facilitating fertility treatments. They operate under strict regulations and guidelines to deliver high quality donor sperm.

A gloved hand holding a vial labeled "sperm"

How much does it cost to bank sperm?

The cost of banking donor sperm can depend on several factors, including the sperm bank, any special program discounts or subsidies, patient services offered, sperm storage fees, and more. There is typically one cost for sperm collection and analysis. Then, ongoing storage costs for freezing can range from $100 – $500 per year.

Is it hard to get pregnant with sperm donor?

pregnant, maternity, happy mothers day

The difficulty of getting pregnant with a sperm donation can vary depending on various factors, including the age of the recipient, the presence of any fertility issues, previous family planning methods used, and the quality of sperm.

How Many Vials Should I/We Order?

The amount of sperm needed will depend on several factors, including the fertility treatment in use, overall fertility health, age, lifestyle, and other factors that could impact fertilization. Thus, you should consult your fertility specialist or physician to determine how many vials you should order based on your unique situation. Consider ordering more vials if you plan to use the same donor for a sibling.

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How much can you make from donating to a sperm bank?

 Image of money, sperm bottle, and donor label

The amount you make will vary depending on various factors, including the donor’s location, specimen quality, and donation frequency. On average, in the United States, a sperm donor today is paid between $100 and $150 per donation.

What is the best online sperm bank?

The best online bank will depend on individual needs and preferences. Some of the most reputable online sperm banks, offering diverse donor profiles with childhood and adult photos, competitive samples, and shipping to most states, include Fairfax Cryobank, California Cryobank, Seattle Sperm Bank, Cryos International, and Xytex.

How do sperm donors get the sperm out?

Donors typically obtain semen samples through masturbation in a private room at a sperm bank or fertility clinic. Donors ejaculate into a sterile container provided by the facility. In some cases, alternative methods, such as electroejaculation or surgical donor sperm retrieval, may be used.

a person holding a small container written sperm.

How many sperm banks are in the US?

There are about 150 commercial sperm banks in the US.

Let help you navigate what to expect by way of time, money, and savings for your parenting journey.


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