Do I Qualify to Be a Sperm Donor?

If you’ve seen the movie “The Kids Are All Right,” you know that anonymous sperm donation might not stay anonymous once the children reach majority age. This is more true than ever, thanks to websites like 23andMe® that find your biological relatives through a DNA sample. When you become a sperm donor, you’re not just making a quick buck for an activity you’d happily engage in anyway; you’re potentially creating new lives that could have an impact on your own life down the road.

The expert OB/GYNs and medical professionals at Columbia Fertility Associates in Washington, DC; Bethesda, Maryland; and Arlington, Virginia, want to ensure that you’re right for sperm donation and that sperm donation’s right for you. That’s why you have to be tested for each donation, and why they want you to understand the implication of potentially creating one or more new lives.

You have to be young and healthy

Just as women’s eggs degrade over time, men produce fewer sperm and may produce lower-quality sperm as they age. At Columbia Fertility Associates, you have to be between the ages of 18-39 to qualify as a sperm donor.

You also have to undergo a series of tests to be sure you’re free of diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You’re asked to provide a urine sample on the premises, and we take blood samples and test them to be sure you’re infection-free and that your organs are functioning optimally. 

Our doctor also conducts a thorough physical examination. If you become a frequent donor, you might not have to undergo a physical exam each time you donate, but you still must provide blood and urine samples.

Your sperm have to be healthy 

In addition to testing your blood and urine, we need to test your sperm. You provide a sample at the clinic, which we then examine in the lab. Healthy sperm are:

If you don’t have healthy sperm, our doctors can recommend lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthier diet and staying active, that could improve your sperm quality. You might be able to donate later, if you improve your sperm health.

You have to have healthy genes

One of the blood samples we take is tested for the presence of genetic disorders. If you’re a carrier for a genetic disease, you won’t be able to donate sperm.

We also ask for details of your family medical history going back for two generations. You’re disqualified as a donor if anyone in your biological family has a disorder that can be inherited.

You must be mentally healthy, too

In addition to physical tests and blood tests, you must undergo a psychological evaluation. At this time, our doctors discuss the sperm donation process with you, ask you how you feel about your biological children contacting you some day, and how you’re going to share information about your donations with your present or future family. 

We need to know your business

When a woman, man, or couple decides to use a sperm donor to have a child, they usually look for key characteristics that match their own profile or their partner’s profile. That’s why we ask you about your education, your hobbies, and  your personal interests. We may also request videos, photos, or voice files to share with prospective recipients.

Finally, you have to be willing to honestly share intimate details about your sex life and past or present drug use. If your behaviors are risky for STDs, especially HIV/AIDS, you’re disqualified.

You’re supported all the way

Whether you’re accepted as a donor or not, the donation process and all of the tests and evaluations may feel overwhelming. You might learn new information about yourself that’s potentially upsetting, such as finding out you have a genetic disorder or are a carrier for one. If you’re upset by the donation process or if you’re disqualified for a medical, psychological, or genetic reason, we refer you to a counselor who helps you process the information and move on with your life. 

To find out if you’re eligible to help start someone’s dream family by donating sperm, contact our office today by calling the office nearest you. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Tips for Navigating Your Winter Pregnancy

You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Just in time for the holidays, blustery weather, and a whole slew of other stressors. What’s the best way to keep yourself and your baby comfy and safe during the year’s most trying months? Here are a few tips.

How to Become an Egg Donor

Maybe you want to help an infertile couple create their family. Maybe you want to earn extra money. Maybe you want both. Either way, becoming an egg donor can be an emotionally and financially rewarding experience. Here’s how to do it.

Understanding Antiphospholipid Syndrome

You’re having trouble getting pregnant. You may have even had a miscarriage. Or two. Your doctor says you test positive for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). What is APS, and will it prevent you from having a baby?

Common Causes of a Miscarriage

If you suffer the loss of a pregnancy, you may secretly wonder if it’s “your fault.” Was it because you kept up with your daily run, or had sex, or did something “wrong”? Most of the time, miscarriage is beyond your control.

Fertility Care and COVID19: What You Should Know

You’re eager to start your family. With quarantines and shutdowns, you certainly have enough time on your hands. But is it safe to get fertility treatments when the coronavirus pandemic is raging? The answer depends on your unique situation.

Unpleasant Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

You feel tired all the time, but you can’t fall asleep at night. Your periods are heavy and painful, and you keep gaining weight. Now your doctor says you may be infertile. Could unbalanced hormones be at the root of your symptoms?