Sperm donation is a procedure where a man donates semen in order to help an individual or a couple conceive and achieve pregnancy. The donated sperm is then injected into a woman’s reproductive organs or used to fertilise eggs during the process of IVF. Sperm donation is usually done in a sperm bank. Once provided, the sample is frozen and the donor is tested for infectious diseases. If the sperm quality is satisfactory, the individual is selected as a donor.
What does the screening process involve?
- Age- A person between the age of 18-39 is considered idol for donating sperm. Sometimes the upper limit could be 34-35 years as well depending on the quality of sperm.
- Physical evaluation- Some tests like blood and urine are necessary to evaluate for infectious diseases, mainly HIV. Regular donors are expected to undergo physical exams every 6 months.
- Semen testing- When donating sperms, doctors will take several samples of sperm to evaluate quantity, quality and movement of sperm. For this, one is likely to be asked to abstain from ejaculation 2-5 days before providing samples.
- Genetic testing and family medical history- Donors may be asked to provide medical history details of at least two generations of the family. This is to test the presence of any hereditary diseases.
- Psychological assessment- Sharing personal information is mandatory; however the information is kept anonymous if requested. If the donor is providing sperm to a known person, questions may be asked about the relationship between the two.
- Personal/sexual history- collecting healthy sperm is very crucial. Therefore, before donation, a thorough examination of one’s sexual history, drug use and risk factors is conducted at BLK. Details of sexual habits, education and personal interests are also likely to be sought.