The Sperm Donation Timeline: How Long on Average is the Sperm Donation Process1st May 2023
Donating sperm is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. And, with statistics from HFEA indicating that the number of babies born from donor sperm nearly tripling since 2006, it’s clear the demand for sperm donors is higher than ever.
Tasked with sourcing sperm donors for those needing fertility treatments all over the country, our team work tirelessly to ensure the sperm donation process is as accessible and stress-free as possible for our donors.
If you’ve recently decided to become a sperm donor, you may be wondering what the donation timeline looks like, for example, how long it will take to donate and how often you may be required to visit the clinic.
We’re here to assure you that sperm donation can be a very flexible and rewarding experience.
Even though sperm donation does require you to invest time into the process, Semovo sperm donors can work with our team to determine a donation plan that works for you, depending on your schedule -allowing you to continue the process at a convenient pace for you, your career and your personal commitments.
How long will the sperm donation process take?
As with all things, sperm donation is best done in moderation. The process takes, on average, 6-18 months, depending on how often you donate and how many samples we will need. Keeping your visits to once a week generally works best for those who work or those with other weekly commitments. We also need donors to have abstained from sex for no less than 3 and no more than 5 days for each donated sample, so if you have a partner, you may want to schedule in some ‘you’ time too!
Although visiting more often would speed up the process, that may not necessarily be the best thing for you and may not suit your lifestyle. For example, if you overcommit, you may find it hard to arrange work, socialising or study around your donations.
We ask that our sperm donors donate for a certain length of time to ensure we have enough sperm in storage to help all the patients that choose you as their donor.
The Sperm Donation Process
To ensure the people who need your donor sperm to create their families are given the highest chance of conception, we invest a lot of our time and effort into ensuring your sperm is the very best before, during and even after you’ve completed your donation. Here are the steps our sperm donors must go through on the sperm donor journey:
Step 1) Apply to be a Sperm Donor:
The first thing you need to do to become a sperm donor is to fill out a short application form.
It takes a few minutes of your time, and once you’ve done this, we’ll review your answers and contact you by email to confirm your interest.
Unfortunately, not just anybody can donate - you must be aged between 18 and 45, be in good health and have no serious genetic or hereditary medical conditions. You will also need to know or be able to find out your family’s medical history. We’ll need you to complete an online form about this so it’s useful to check this with your family once you’ve sent off the application form. If your credentials rule you out of the donor process, our team will reach out to inform you at this stage.
Step 2) Implications & Initial Semen Analysis:
If you meet our initial criteria, then it’s time to book your implications appointment. This is where we will discuss over the phone what is involved, go through your own and immediate family’s medical history from your online form, and answer any questions you may have at this stage. This is a rewarding part of the process, as we discuss how your donation could help someone else complete their family through fertility treatments like IUI or IVF.
If you proceed with the process at this stage, you’ll be invited to come and visit us at one of five Semovo donation centres for an appointment with a member of our team to discuss the donation process in more detail.
It’s here you’ll provide your first sample, which allows us to evaluate your sperm count, shape and movement. These tests help us ensure your sperm will be able to withstand the freezing and thawing that comes later in the process.
Step 3) Counselling, Consultation & Screening:
If you are accepted as a donor, the next step of your journey will be your mandatory counselling. You will speak to one of our specialist counsellors via a video call. This is to make sure you fully understand what it means to be a sperm donor. Our counsellors will provide you with further information about being a donor to consider but are also here to listen impartially, with understanding and empathy.
You’ll also talk to our team in more detail about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and what is expected of you as a sperm donor, and have a physical examination, where the doctor is checking that you are fit and healthy enough to be a donor. This, in addition to your screening appointment, will ensure you aren’t carrying any inherited conditions that could be potentially harmful to a future donor-conceived child.
For your screening you’ll need to provide a urine sample and have some blood taken, which we’ll test for HIV, Hepatitis and various other STI’s and genetic conditions. You’ll hear back from us in around three or four weeks once we have the results of all your tests.
Step 4) Sign Your Consent Forms and Begin Donating Sperm
The final step before your donation begins is to sign the consent forms. One of the team will go through these with you carefully. Once you’ve done this, we can start scheduling your regular donations. As we previously stated, we ask that you donate regularly for at least 6 months. This allows us to build up a good supply of your sperm to ensure we have enough to help all the patients who choose you as their donor. Your sperm can be used for a maximum of 10 UK families but is not restricted to one child per family.
Step 5) Your Sperm is Frozen and you are registered as a donor
Your sperm samples will be frozen and quarantined for at least three months so we know they are safe to use during treatment. With your sperm being frozen, it means your samples can’t be used by patients - not just yet. We’ll need to repeat your infection screening again first to check you’re still free from any infectious diseases.
We will also ask you to complete a form with personal details about yourself in order to register you as a donor with our regulators, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Once you are a registered donor, you will have no legal or financial obligations to any children born from your donations.
Step 6) Your Semovo Donor Profile
We’ll also ask you to write some information about yourself for your Semovo donor profile. This information must be non-identifying, meaning a patient or a donor-conceived child born from your donation could not identify you from this information, but instead could gain a better understanding of who you are as a person, your values and your background.
Step 7) Your Samples Are Released
When the first batch of your samples has been quarantined for three months, you will go through the screening process again. This is to make sure nothing has changed since your last screening and to see if the sperm you donated can be released for use. If your results are clear, patients will now be able to choose you as their donor.
The rescreening will need to be performed several times to release your samples in batches, especially if your period of donation is more than 6 months. Three months after your last donation, you’ll be screened a final time to release your remaining samples for use and your sperm donation will be over!
Start Your Donation Journey Today
Our team can’t express the importance of our donors enough. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to provide the service we do, which is vital to so many people. We want to remind all those who are considering donating that your gift could be invaluable to someone else, as you might be the perfect donor to help someone else create the family they dream of, and that for as little as six months of your time – you could change someone else’s life forever. You will be compensated £35 for your time and expenses for each donation. During the process, you would likely make between 20 and 30 donations.
The easiest and quickest way to start your sperm donation journey is to apply online. However, if you have any questions or want to know more about any aspect of sperm donation, our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to help you at email@example.com or contact our friendly team at 0345 266 0020.