Everything You Need to Know Before Sperm Donor Counselling21st May 2023
At Semovo, we understand better than most the difference sperm donors make in the lives of others. Each year donor sperm helps countless people complete their families, and, with data from the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority indicating that children born in the UK with the help of donor gametes have risen by more than 64% since the 1990s – its apparent demand isn't slowing down any time soon.
For our sperm donors to feel confident and assured through every step of their donation journey, we strive to ensure our sperm donors are making the most of their donor implications counselling and ask all the questions they need to feel supported wherever they are in their donation journey.
What is donor implications counselling?
Donor implications counselling is routine counselling a sperm donor attends as part of the donation process. It's a safe space to explore the personal, legal, social and ethical implications of becoming a donor with the help of a BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association) accredited counsellor.
We hope that by the time our donors reach their implications counselling appointment, they will have had all the support and information they need to feel comfortable to proceed with the process.
If not, this appointment is the perfect time to open up a dialogue about anything you may need help with - to start you off, we've compiled a list of top questions you may want to consider asking when you sit down with our counsellor.
What will be discussed in my counselling session?
Your counsellor will discuss a range of topics with you, such as your motivation for donation, understanding of the sperm donation process, who knows about your choice to donate and how long you have been considering becoming a sperm donor. They will also explain the legalities of sperm donation, namely, your rights as the donor and any donor-conceived child you help bring into the world.
Although you'll already be aware, you'll have the opportunity to learn more about donor anonymity and the importance of keeping the information you provide us with up to date in the future. Your counsellor can also explain when and how a donor-conceived person may be able to contact you – and what you should consider now to prepare for that.
How many counselling sessions would I have?
At Semovo, our sperm donors are entitled to one counselling session as standard. One session is often enough to explore all your concerns or questions regarding the process and how your feelings may change.
Many of our donors feel assured and confident after the session, but we can offer additional sessions where necessary if you'd like extra guidance.
Why do I need sperm donor implications counselling?
Not only is donor counselling a routine part of sperm donation for any sperm donor who chooses to donate through one of our UK-based, HFEA-licenced sperm banks or clinics, but it's also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about anything you've been unsure of.
As we understand that feelings can change over time, and with the sperm donation screening process taking place over a few months, we expect additional questions may arise by the time you attend your counselling session.
If you do have any questions, especially about how sperm donation may impact you and your loved ones in the future, know that your counselling sessions are completely confidential, and our counsellors are entirely impartial. Feel free to ask why you need counselling and what you can gain from it during your session.
Do I need to talk to my partner or family about donating?
Ultimately, it's a personal choice - and not one you have to make! You may want to consider whether to keep the decision to donate your sperm private or whether it would be appropriate to share it with anyone. The balance between what is best for you and how to involve or not involve others is delicate and will be discussed in your counselling session.
However, if you are in a relationship or have children of your own, your partner will be invited to join you in the counselling session as your donation will have long-term implications for you and them, too. Your partner will be invited to share their thoughts and feelings and to ask questions. This is a vital part of best supporting you through the process.
What other support is available?
If you'd like any additional support throughout your sperm donation journey, you can always contact our team. We will be happy to offer any advice we can. Alternatively, there are several charitable organisations and governing bodies that provide resources for past, current and potential donors, linked below:
- The SEED Trust – Talking it Through
- The HFEA – Advice for Sperm Donors
- The DCN – Resources for Donors
Or if you're interested in becoming a sperm donor, you can apply online today. If you have any questions on the process, donor counselling or want to know more about any aspect of the sperm donation process, our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to help you. Email email@example.com or contact our friendly team at 0345 266 0020.