What stops men from becoming sperm donors?26th July 2016
Even after you apply to become a sperm donor, you are more likely not to make it through the process. The Semovo sperm donor assessment process screens out around 95% of all potential donors.
Here, the Semovo team explains the stages of the extensive Semovo donor selection process.
1. Sperm quality, shape and speed are just average
A donor’s sperm quality, including how much there is (concentration), how well it moves (motility), and how well it's shaped (morphology) is the first screening step. Sperm quality matters to Semovo as we need to give our patients the very best chance of realising their wish of having a family. We also freeze the donations so they must be able to withstand the freezing and thawing process to a high standard. We see potential donors not meeting our strict criteria who have previously fathered children or have no fertility problems.
2. You’re too old (no offence intended!)
Semovo sperm donors are between the ages of 18 and 41. This is in compliance with UK professional body guidance and reflects the age group where a man’s sperm is generally of better quality.
3. Your personality doesn’t fit
The Semovo team spends time getting to know each of our donors. We explore your motivations for wanting to become a donor and if our team are uncomfortable with any potential donor we may decide to remove the donor from the process.
4. Family history and genetics play a big part
All Semovo donors undergo genetic testing and have a family history taken to check for known debilitating inherited disorders. We must ensure that your donation is not likely to pass on any debilitating genetic disorders to donor-conceived children.
5. You don't have time to commit
When your application has been approved and you have passed the various screening tests, you will be expected to donate exclusively to us many times over a period spanning several months, possibly up to a year depending on your frequency of donation. The average range of donations is between 20 and 30.
This allows us to build up a good supply of your sperm which is required because not all cycles of treatment are successful the first time, so we have to ensure that we have enough samples for the recipients to use several times if necessary and some may even want to come back for a second child.
6. You aren't prepared for contact in 18 years time
All Semovo sperm donors must agree to be identifiable to the donor-conceived offspring born using their sperm in the UK. This law was brought in to allow donor-conceived people to find out about their biological origins when they turn 18 years old.
UK law currently limits your sperm to helping a maximum of 10 UK families - so there is a realistic possibility of more than 10 donor-conceived adults requesting your identifiable information.
During the assessment process you will meet with our team and a counsellor who will discuss the implications of your decision to donate with you.
Semovo values the commitment and motivation of all potential donors and is committed to providing you with the highest quality care throughout the process.