For this week’s Nutrition & Hydration Week and also No Smoking Day, we look at why diet and smoking affects sperm – and what you can do about it with tips from fertility nutritionist Jeannette Jackson.
How it works - A step-by-step guide
OK, so you’ve decided you want to donate sperm. Great news!
While it might seem like a simple process, becoming a donor is much more involved than you might think. We need to make sure you understand the implications of giving the gift of life, and the different steps you’ll have to go through before you can donate. So, we’ve put together this guide to provide all the information you need before becoming a donor.
Step 1: Apply to donate
The first thing you need to do to become a sperm donor is fill out this short questionnaire. It’ll only take a few minutes of your time, but it’s the first step to help change someone’s family life for the better. Once you’ve done this, we’ll review your answers, and contact you by email within two days to let you know if you can proceed to the next step.
Unfortunately, not just anybody can donate - you must be aged between 18 and 41, 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.
And just like that, step one of five is complete.
Step 2: visit 1 - Implications appointment and semen analysis
You’ve probably never had your semen analysed, but there’s a first time for everything. This is a really important aspect of what we do, and will take you one step closer to becoming a donor.
Once your application has been accepted, you’ll be invited to come and visit us at your chosen Semovo location 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 semen sample, which allows us to evaluate your sperm count, shape and movement. Only those applicants with the highest quality sperm will be able to proceed. These tests help us ensure your sperm will be able to withstand freezing and thawing that comes later in the process. If your sperm passes the test, it’ll certainly give you something unique to boast about. For those who do not make it as a Semovo donor it does not mean that you cannot have a family of your own. Please remember that we’re very selective to give the best chances of success for those who want to use Semovo donor sperm.
Step 3: visit 2 - Consultation, counselling and screening
At your next appointment, you’ll talk to one of our consultants about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and what it is expected of you as a sperm donor. We’ll ask for a urine sample and take some blood for screening, which we’ll test for HIV, Hepatitis and various genetic conditions. You’ll hear back from us in around three or four weeks.
You will also speak to one of our specialist counsellors. This is to make sure you fully understand what it means to be a sperm donor - it’s a pretty big deal. We encourage you to include your partner in the Counselling session. It’s worth noting too that counselling sessions can be carried out online if that’s more convenient for you. It’s the 21st century, after all.
We will start to compensate you for your expenses and time from this point - and £25 will be paid to you on the day in cash. On top of this, £10 is accrued during each visit, which you’ll be given after your final screening.
You’re now more than halfway there!
Step 4: Donating begins
Great news, it’s time to start donating with us!
Before you start donating you’ll be asked to sign consent forms.
Then you’ll be expected to donate your sperm around once a week for up to six months (that means around 20 - 30 donations in total). 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 will be used for a maximum of 10 UK families, but is not restricted to one child per family.
We do everything we can to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. The donation rooms are furnished to ensure you feel at ease. Plus, patients in our reception areas will not know why you are there, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed. Not that you should be - you’re doing an amazing thing!
Your sperm samples will be frozen and quarantined for at least six months, so that 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. While we’re waiting, we’ll carry out a few more quick tests to check you’re still free from any infectious diseases.
At this point we’ll also ask you to write some information about yourself for your Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) registration, and your Semovo donor profile.
Step 5: Your Samples are released
When the first batch of samples has been quarantined for six months, you will be screened again. If your results come back clear, the sperm can be released for use. That means you’ll officially be a Semovo sperm donor! Congratulations! Patients will now be able to choose you as their donor.
Six months after your final donation, you’ll be screened a final time to release your remaining samples for use. You’ll then be given your accrued expenses payments (£10 per visit).
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Need to know anything else? No problem. We want to make sure you feel as comfortable with this process as possible, so we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. Visit our FAQ section today, or contact the Semovo team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0345 266 1272
Apply online today
Ready to become a sperm donor? Applying online to start the process could not be easier.