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sperm-donor-icon-blue Sperm Donor

Sperm Donor FAQs

Will I be given adult material to produce a sample?

Clinics have separate dedicated sperm production rooms and adult material in most formats (magazines, TV, DVD, etc.) will be available in these rooms. You are welcome to take your own adult material with you. If you have a particular preference of adult material then you can take it to the clinic with you. Alternatively, check beforehand whether your clinic provides that type of adult material. 

What do I have to ejaculate into?

You will be provided with a sterile pot at each visit and will be asked to ejaculate into this pot while you are in a dedicated sperm production room.

I’m a bit nervous about missing the pot. Can I wear a condom instead?

If some of your ejaculate misses the sterile pot provided, just let the clinic staff know. Condoms are not used to collect your ejaculate as they could contaminate your sperm sample.

Can I use my own adult material?

You are welcome to take your own adult material to the clinic to help you produce your sample.

What form will the adult material be?

Clinics have adult material in most formats (magazines, TV, DVD, etc.).

I’m gay. Will gay adult material be available?

If you have a particular preference of adult material then you can take it to the clinic with you. Alternatively, check beforehand whether your clinic provides that type of adult material.

Can I ask someone else to help me produce a sample?

No one else can be involved with producing a sperm sample as the risk of contamination is too high.

Can I produce a sample through having sex?

No one else can be involved with producing a sperm sample as the risk of contamination is too high.

Can I produce a sample at home and take it to the clinic?

Sperm samples have to be produced at the clinic to avoid contamination.

What happens if I can’t get it up on sperm production day?

If you’re experiencing any difficulties on sperm production day then just let a member of staff know.

Does it matter if I don’t get all the ejaculate into the pot?

If any ejaculate misses the pot then let a member of staff know.

Do I have to avoid having sex or masturbating for any amount of time before donating? If so, why?

To ensure sperm quality is at its optimum, clinics will ask you to avoid having sex or masturbating for two to three days before each donation.

I have recently had a piercing/tattoo/acupuncture. Can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

I have received donated blood/organ/bone marrow. Can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

I am gay. Can I donate?

Yes. Regardless of sexuality, all donors are screened and tested for the same medical conditions. Recipients are made aware of their donor’s sexuality and can choose their donor accordingly.

I have recently visited countries outside of Europe. Can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

I have been told that I am not eligible to give blood. Can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

I have had surgery recently. Can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

My partner and children don’t want me to donate. Can I donate without telling them?

Although technically you could probably still donate, in reality it’s likely that you won’t be able to. Clinics would want to explore why you’d want to go ahead without your family’s support – this would probably be taken to a clinic ethics meeting to discuss and the chances are that you wouldn’t be allowed to go ahead.

Should I tell my friends and family that I am thinking about becoming a donor?

It’s a personal choice about who you tell but talking through the implications of donating before you go ahead is recommended, particularly if it will have an impact on your immediate family and friends.

Is there anyone I can talk to about becoming a donor?

Yes, us! We offer impartial confidential help and support. Plus we can put you, as a potential donor, in touch with actual donors. Your clinic can also offer you free counselling sessions.

What happens if I want to talk about my donations after I have donated?

We are here to listen and to offer confidential help and support. Many clinics also offer counselling before, during and after donation.

Can I find out whether my donation was successful? When?

Yes. At any time following your donation you can ask your clinic about the outcome of your donations. Your clinic can tell you:

  • whether there have been any pregnancies
  • whether there have been any live birth(s)
  • years of birth
  • gender of any child(ren) born
  • number of children born.
Can I impose any conditions on who I donate to and the nature of my donation?

Yes but realistically imposing conditions can limit the number of times your donation can be used in treatments. Most donors’ conditions are connected to issues around religion and culture. In the case of known donation, the donation is conditional upon it being used by a particular recipient.

Are there any limits on how many children can be born from my donations?

There’s no limit as such on the number of children that can be born from your donations. However, only 10 families can be created from your donations.

Do I need to tell someone if I discover I have some form of illness that could affect any children born from my donation?

Yes. You have a duty to inform your clinic.

Do I have to change my lifestyle at all to donate?

It’s recommended that you have a healthy lifestyle but your clinic will advise you of any specific changes you might need to make.

I smoke, can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

I drink alcohol, can I still donate?

Clinics have their own individual policies on this issue so check with the clinic you’re thinking about donating to for their most up-to-date advice.

I am overweight, can I still donate?

Yes, but clinics prefer your BMI to be under 30. This is because being overweight can affect general health and wellbeing.

I don’t have children, does this affect whether I can donate?

No.

I’ve had STIs, can I donate?

Clinics will discuss with you the nature of any past and present STIs and whether they are a barrier to you becoming a donor.

I suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, can I still donate?

Your clinic will want to gather as much information from you as it can about your condition so that it can make a decision on an individual and personal basis about whether you can be a sperm donor. Clinics recognise and acknowledge that everyone’s health and medical backgrounds are different.

Will any information be kept about me? Where will it be stored and who will see it?
Do I need to tell my employer I am donating?

This is a personal choice although many donors do tell their employers why they are taking time off work.

What happens if I discover that I can’t be a donor?

Your clinic will let you know the reasons you can’t be a donor and will discuss the situation with you and offer support. Your clinic can also advise you about further appropriate support, e.g. GP.

What happens if the screening and testing reveals I have a medical condition affecting my general health or fertility?

Your clinic will let you know the reasons you can’t be a donor and will discuss the situation with you and offer support. Your clinic can also advise you about further appropriate support, e.g. GP.

Do the recipients (have to) tell their children they are donor conceived?

While all donors now have to be identifiable, there is no law that says all donor-conceived people must know of their genetic origins. Some families are very open with their children about their genetic origins while other families don’t tell at all.

In The Media

Over the last ten years there’s been an increase in egg and sperm donors coming forward in the UK. This didn’t happen by accident. Media coverage, in whatever way, shape or form, has an important role to play. The more media inches, the more awareness, the more donors come forward.

It is as simple as that.

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