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Is it Easy to Become a Sperm Donor?

Posted on February 1, 2023

As Hollywood would have you believe, donating sperm is simple and quick. But in reality, sperm donation is a lengthy, involved process, with strict medical requirements, and those for lifestyle. While donating is a beneficial act, very few candidates are accepted into sperm donor programs. These guidelines protect the health and safety of potential recipients and their future children. To ensure your physical and mental health, you’ll undergo multiple screenings for infectious and genetic diseases. The requirements can help to safeguard your confidentiality during donation, as well.

Why Are Sperm Donor Requirements So Strict?

People likely considering donated sperm have already devoted a great deal of time, effort, and money to their pregnancy efforts. Different infertility clinics may have their guidelines for sperm donation, based on such factors as health status, lifestyle, and time commitment.

The Fertility Center of California (FCC) has been accepting sperm donations since the 1980s, allowing us to strengthen and streamline the eligibility process, while ensuring your confidentiality and anonymity. Our demanding standards mean that we only select the healthiest, most effective samples. Indeed, less than 3% of our applicants are accepted as donors.

What Health Requirements Does Sperm Donor Screening Include?

Sperm bank clinics strive to only accept physically and emotionally healthy sperm donors. To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18 and 39 years old. You’ll also be given psychological assessments before you can donate.

With the FCC application process, you’ll first have a semen analysis to see if you meet our standards. Once you pass that step, you’ll complete a long questionnaire covering your medical history and personal information. Next, you’ll be given a complete physical and blood count, and a second semen analysis. You must practice abstinence from any type of ejaculation 3-4 days before collection.

When these tasks are completed and considered acceptable, you’ll undergo genetic testing, consisting of a chromosomal analysis called karyotyping, which minimizes the risk of transmitting known genetic diseases. All donors can expect multiple recommended genetic screenings, as per the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), including those for cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, and Tay-Sachs disease. Should you pass, select donors can expect to undergo extended genetic testing, incorporating 283 conditions.

You’ll then be tested for infectious diseases, including HIV, hepatitis B and C, and chlamydia. Should you successfully pass these, you’ll have a background check and an interview with one of our donor coordinators. Once accepted into the sperm donor program, know that your health status is continually re-assessed. Your semen samples will be quarantined for a minimum of 180 days and released only after you’ve been re-tested for the required infectious disease screening.

Lifestyle-Based Requirements for Sperm Donation

We recruit our potential anonymous donors from local universities and colleges, and most are undergraduate and graduate students, although some are professionals. We prefer potential donors to live within commuting distance of our San Diego or Orange County offices. You must be legally allowed to work in the US. In terms of time commitment, you must be available for a minimum of 12 months, donating 1-2 times a week.

Schedule a Consultation for Sperm Donation in California

While donating sperm is a generous service, you’ll need to meet stringent, extensive requirements. They’re designed to protect the health and safety of both potential recipients and sperm donors themselves. If you have any donation-related questions, we invite you to schedule a consultation with the Fertility Center of California today.

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