DRUGS, CIGARETTES AND ALCOHOL: THE SOCIAL HABITS YOU NEED TO CHANGE TO DONATE SPERM11th May 2018
Did you know that one of the most damaging things for sperm and fertility is the use of recreational or performance-enhancing drugs?
You might be aware that a bad diet and poor lifestyle can affect sperm quality – but not many men realise that drugs have a negative impact too.
Can you donate sperm if you take recreational or enhancement drugs?
If you currently take any kind of lifestyle drug or enhancement drug like steroids and want to be a sperm donor, it won’t be possible because of their effects on your sperm, which will become evident when we look at your sperm under the microscope.
Drugs affect your reproductive system in a number of ways, including interfering with and altering hormones responsible for sperm production, impairing sperm production and quality.
The good news is that if you stop taking drugs you can help your fertility. Sperm is continuously being produced so it may not take too many months before your fertility starts to improve, depending on the types of drugs that were taken and frequency of use.
Keeping your sperm healthy for sperm donation
There are lots of things you can do to maintain sperm health if you want to be a sperm donor.
As well as quitting drugs, easy ways to maximise your fertility include:
A healthy diet: Pack plenty of omega-3, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals into your diet and avoid a high intake of red meat, processed meat and caffeine. These have been found to negatively affect sperm in some studies.
Reduce alcohol: Alcohol affects sperm too, so don’t excessively drink.
Quit smoking: Smoking can increase DNA damage in sperm and lower sperm concentration and mobility.
Keep cool: Sperm doesn’t like heat so keep cool where it counts. Avoid hot saunas, hot baths, tight underwear and continuously using your laptop in your lap.
Checking if your sperm can be donated
We’ll ask you about your lifestyle as part of the sperm donor application process and perform semen analysis to see if your sperm is good for donation. It’s important that your sperm gives someone the best chance of conceiving, so we only accept men as sperm donors whose sperm is of the best quality.
If your sperm isn’t suitable, we’ll explain why and if there’s anything you can do – such as lifestyle changes - to improve it.
Apply to donate sperm with Semovo