There is currently a national sperm donor shortage. Intended parents are often waiting an extended amount of time, sometimes for 18 months or more, for a donor that meets their needs. In some cases, intended parents are unable to find a donor and they no longer pursue parenthood.
Men who become sperm donors are helping support individuals who are looking to become parents. In LGBTQIA relationships, they might have always known they would rely on a sperm donor to have children. On the other hand, a man might find out they are infertile later in life. Male factor infertility can be due to a congenital condition, injury, or surgery to reproductive structures, or some medical therapies, like chemotherapy.
Whatever the case, sperm donors make all the difference.
Why are specific characteristics important?
When someone is looking for a sperm donor, a lot of needs are considered in choosing a suitable donor. The most important characteristics are medical compatibility and wanting the donor to have similar traits as them or a partner. Medical compatibility is important to ensure the health of future offspring. Physical characteristics are also important. It can be a great hardship for a parent who is mistaken for a babysitter instead of a parent because they do not look like their child. This can be especially hard when finding donors of specific ethnicities. In programs like San Diego Sperm Bank, there are often shortages in the number of Black sperm donors available. Having donors of all diverse backgrounds helps us support all individuals looking to become parents.
What are the requirements to become a sperm donor?
All sperm donors undergo the same application process. Even though we may need specific physical characteristics, we want to make sure that donors are properly informed about their decision to become sperm donors, and samples being provided are safe and effective.
Donors must be between the ages of 18-39. This age range is a requirement for this type of tissue donation. Additionally, it is the optimal age range for providing healthy sperm donations.
Donors must be willing to commit for at least 6 months. The FDA requires us to hold all donated samples in quarantine for 6 months before they can be used in treatment. Donors are tested for infectious diseases before the samples are placed into quarantine and again when they are released. This ensures samples are not infectious and safe for treatment use.
Donors must live locally. All donations must be made in person. This is how we know the donation came from you and gives us the opportunity to process the sample right away before any sperm cells start to die.
Donors should donate at least once per week. It can take 3 or more attempts for intended parents to be successful with sperm donations. We ask that donors visit the lab at least once a week to help make sure we have enough samples for intended parents attempting pregnancy. You can donate up to 3 times per week and receive $100 per donation. On the other hand, we understand life can be unpredictable and vacations happen, and our program allows for plenty of flexibility with your schedule.
What are the benefits of becoming a sperm donor?
At San Diego Sperm Bank we compensate donors $100 for every donation that can be used in treatment. This means the samples have good sperm counts and are cleared of infectious diseases. Our team will let you know how your sperm counts look every week and let you know what you can do to make sure your counts are high. The biggest factor is being abstinent for at least 48hrs before donating.
Donors also receive healthcare benefits like routine STI testing and physicals every 6 months. This is a wonderful way to track your personal health. In addition, you will also receive genetic carrier screening for 514 genetic conditions. These are conditions that do not have an impact on your life but may be passed down to future offspring. An example is the cystic fibrosis gene. You can carry the cystic fibrosis gene without having any signs or symptoms, but there could be a chance for your offspring to inherit the condition from you if your partner is also a carrier. We have genetic counselors on staff who will help explain the results to you.
And not to forget, the families your donations support. There are families who cannot have children without the use of sperm donations. This includes families with two moms, if a man has male factor infertility, or single individuals becoming parents without a partner. When you become a sperm donor, you create access to care and give them a chance to become parents.
If you are interested in joining the sperm donor program, get started today with an online application. Our Donor Coordinators are available if you have any questions at [email protected] or call (858)732-8500.