If there are no obvious reasons to exclude you as a sperm donor then the next stage will be to
- Produce a semen sample that can be examined in the laboratory. You will usually need to abstain from any form of sexual activity for between 3 and 5 days prior to producing the sample. Moreover, you will usually need to produce this sample in aprivate room in the centre. This is so the sample can be analyzed as soon as possible after it is produced.
- A sample of your blood will be taken for analysis. This will include tests to determine your blood group as well as screen for common infectious, genetic and sexually transmitted diseases . You may also need to be examined by doctor who will take swabsand may also require a sample of urine. You will also be asked to sign an informed consent form.
- You will have an interview with our Medical Director and/or Clinical Counsellor to discuss the donation process and explain the legal aspects that surround it as well as dispel myths surrounding sperm donation. This will include a discussion concerning your rights and the rights of those receiving your sperm and of any child born as a result of DI treatment. Throughout this process you will be given the opportunity to speak to a counsellor and discuss any issues that are of concern to you.
If you are not accepted as a semen donor then you would be given a full explanation as to the reasons for this. The common reasons (apart from mentioned above) for not being able to accept a donor at this stage are
Only men who have higher than average semen quality are normally accepted as a donor. This is to ensure the recipients of these samples have the highest possible chances of conceiving following their treatment. If your semen is sub-optimal, then it is unlikely that you will be accepted as a donor. If there are any implications for your own fertility then the counsellor will explain these to you
For reasons that are not fully understood, only sperm from some men are able to survive the process of freezing and thawing that is required for samples to be used in DI treatments. If sufficient numbers of your sperm cannot survive the freezing and thawing process then you will not be accepted as a donor.
One of the blood tests will be used to examine your chromosomes in a test called a karyotype. Some healthy men are found to have minor problems with the structure of their chromosomes, which may cause no problem to themselves but may have unexpected effects in their children. Such men cannot be accepted as donors and will be offered counselling to explain any implications for their own family.
During the evaluation of your family history or during the various blood tests, it is possible that something may be discovered that will not allow you to become a donor. An example of this is you may be found to be a carrier for cystic fibrosis. This affects 1 in 25 of the adult population and carriers are unable to be donors. In such cases, the sperm bank will offer advice as to what this may mean for your own family.
Whilst some sexually transmitted infections are treatable, others (e.g. genital warts or herpes) can only be managed. Therefore, if during your assessment you are found to have one of these conditions, the bank will not be able to accept you. They will, however, advise you about what this diagnosis may mean for your own sexual health.
Congratulations, you have been accepted!
- If you are accepted as a sperm donor and you agree to enter the programme then you will need to sign legal forms giving your consent to the storage of your samples and allow their use in treating other people. The samples you donate will be kept in storage for more than 20 years. In addition, notes will be made about your physical appearance (e.g. build, complexion, eye and hair color) and these details may be used to match your characteristics with those of the recipients of your donated sperm. More information about you like academics, career, like/dislikes,political opinions, views on life etc along with our staff’s impression about you would be noted down (with your consent) and might be shared with interested couples.
- Obviously your identity would never be disclosed. You also need to be aware that your details will be held on a register maintained electronically as a safeguard against inappropriate sexual relationships between children sharing the same (genetic) father.Donor-conceived children (if they wish) may have access to non-identifying information mentioned above of their donor when they reach the age of 18.
A potential sperm donor has to undergo certain tests before he is accepted for the sperm donation process. A standard screening procedure for all potential donors is important for both the recipient couple and the donor to protect everyone’s health and well-being.
The benefits are as follows
- Prevent the transmission of infectious diseases to the recipient
- Minimize the chances of passing genetic disease(s) or defect(s) to the child
- Ensure the psychological and emotional stability of the donor
- Ensure the donor’s dedication and health throughout the donation process
Once the potential donor passes this pathological screening, he is accepted into the donation process.
After completion of the process, and at regular pre-determined intervals, the donor is screened, to ensure that his health and well-being continues to be intact and would not have an adverse impact on his donation.