A blush-free guide to sperm donation26th October 2023
The mention of sperm banks and sperm donation can sometimes cause a giggle. However, more often than not, the nature of the process sparks genuine curiosity and many valid questions.
If you are considering sperm donation, you might feel a little embarrassed to ask specific questions about the process. But rest assured, you shouldn't be!
We're here to address all the questions you might have been hesitant to ask, providing you with all the necessary information to embark on your sperm donation journey with confidence.
How do I provide a sperm sample?
As you're probably already aware, sperm donation involves providing a semen sample through masturbation, which is collected in a sterile container. This process takes place in a designated private room at one of our Semovo clinics. Although the process is pretty straightforward, a Reproductive Technologist will explain the donation procedure before you go in so you know what to do.
Can I produce my sperm sample at home?
For good reasons, all donations must happen at one of our specialist Semovo clinics, not at home. Firstly, we need to confirm your identity - ensuring the sperm donation is provided by you. Secondly, having the sample provided in a controlled setting ensures we obtain the highest possible quality of sperm from your donation.
Do I have to stop masturbating before I donate?
We ask that you don't masturbate for at least three days before you visit the clinic so enough sperm can build up to make a worthwhile donation. We also ask that you don't leave it longer than five days since your last ejaculation, as sperm that is older than five days start
s to break down and makes sperm analysis difficult.
Can I bring someone in with me?
Sperm donation is very much a solo pursuit. All sperm samples must be provided in a room by yourself as we need to know that the sperm sample is provided by you and also don't want to risk contamination from other people. Think of it as some 'me-time'!
What should I expect from a donation room?
At Semovo's six clinics, donation rooms may vary in layout, but they share common features. Each room is equipped with a comfortable sofa or medical bed and a sink and tap for handwashing before and after the donation process. Also, Semovo prioritises donor privacy and does not have cameras in any of their rooms. Adult content is available to access via a TV in our Manchester and Glasgow clinics, and all the clinics have Wi-Fi access, allowing donors to use their own devices to access desired content.
How long will I get in the donation room?
All sperm donation appointments are 30 minutes long, allowing you enough time to feel at ease and produce a sample.
What if I can't complete ejaculation?
It's totally normal to experience challenges in completing ejaculation during your first donation attempt. If it's your first time, we may recommend trying again on a different day. However, to become a regular donor, we will require you to provide consistent donations.
What do I do with my sperm sample once I'm done?
Once you've produced your sperm sample, you simply put the lid on the container and put it back in the plastic bag. You can leave your sample in the room, and we’ll collect it. After your donation, you'll have a short chat with one of the Reproductive Technologists to discuss the next steps.
Do I have to tell my partner that I'm donating sperm?
It's advisable to communicate with your partner about your decision to become a sperm donor. As part of the sperm donation process, you’ll have a counselling session, and our counsellor will likely want to speak to your partner as well. Given that donor-conceived children can access identifying information about their donor at age 18, it's best if you tell people you are in a close relationship with about you being a sperm donor.
Will I get to find out if sperm from my donation results in the birth of any children?
You can find out how many children have been born as a result of your donation, the sex of these children, and the year they were born. Many donors find this aspect of their contribution rewarding. At the same time, some appreciate it as a way to prepare for potential contact with donor-conceived children in the future. To find out information about children conceived from your donation, please visit the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) website, where you can submit an application.
What information can donor-conceived people find out about me?
At age 16, donor-conceived people can access non-identifying information about you, which includes your physical attributes, year and country of birth, ethnicity, marital status and medical history. They can also find out if you've had other children, including how many and their sex.
Following anonymity laws, once a donor-conceived person reaches 18, they can obtain further identifying details, which include your name, date of birth, and last known address. You can find out further details about donor information here.
Can children conceived using my sperm get in contact with me?
As donor-conceived people can access identifying information about you when they turn 18, they can initiate contact with you should they wish to do so. It's entirely your choice how you proceed from this point onward. You are not obligated to establish a relationship with your donor-conceived child. Find out more about the rules around releasing donor information.
Will I be responsible for children who are conceived using my sperm?
As a registered UK sperm bank, when you donate sperm with Semovo, you are, by law, given protected status and are not held legally or financially responsible for any child conceived as a result of your donation. You won't be the legal parent, be named on the birth certificate or have any rights over how the child is brought up.
How many donor-conceived children could I have?
You might come across rare tales of individuals supposedly fathering up to 500 children. However, it's important to clarify that such stories are extremely uncommon and impossible if you donate at a UK-registered sperm donor clinic. The limit is set to a maximum of ten families per donor in the UK. This means that a donor could help to conceive children across ten different families, which includes any additional siblings desired by these families.
We hope we've covered all the questions you've wanted to ask about sperm donation but might have been reluctant to do so. Remember, sperm donation is a generous and rewarding experience, and we're here to help you every step of the way, and that means answering every possible question.
If there's anything else you'd like to know, please contact our friendly Semovo team via email at email@example.com or call 0345 266 0020. If you're ready to become a sperm donor, you can apply online today.