A sperm donor can’t just go into a clinic and give a one-off donation. Sperm donation is a relationship between a donor and a clinic which could mean a year between the first screening and the last blood test. It involves regular blood tests, screening and donations.
Abstinence and sperm donation don’t appear to go hand in hand but sperm donors aren’t allowed to ejaculate for two to three days before they donate.
HFEA-licensed clinics in the UK can only use frozen donor sperm. For health reasons, the fresh stuff is definitely not up for grabs.
Donor sperm is quarantined in the deep freeze for six months.
If someone you know is willing to be your donor then you can take them to a fertility clinic and ask to use them for fertility treatment. A known donor doesn’t have to mean a DIY job.
It’s not just the sperm donor himself who has to be fit and healthy. Other family members are investigated as well to rule out hereditary disorders.
It’s only a very special man who passes the rigorous donor assessment process. Unfortunately, the majority of kind and generous men who come forward to donate their sperm just don’t meet the criteria.
Many sperm donors wish they could talk more openly about it.