What you need to know about: Sperm Donation
About 150 commercial sperm banks exist in the United States; these banks are often clustered around universities where many intelligent and virile young men live. The qualities present in college students are in high demand among infertile couples trying to have a baby. Thus, approximately 50 to 90 percent of all sperm donors are college students! The remaining 10 to 50 percent of donors come from all walks of life and have a variety of interests, values, and skills.
Only 5 percent of all male applicants who apply to be a sperm donor meet the criteria to donate sperm. The following conditions immediately disqualify a potential donor from donating sperm:
- Men who have a history of certain diseases in the family (i.e. cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, etc.) cannot donate sperm.
- Homosexual men and men who have had sex with other men cannot donate sperm.
- Intravenous drug users are automatically disqualified.
- Men who have visited areas where considerable numbers of AIDS cases have been reported and have had sex with either women or men living there are prohibited from donating.
Applicants go through a rigorous screening process before they are cleared to donate sperm. Donor screening consists of questionnaires, blood screening, specimen screening, genetic analysis and a physical evaluation. This process includes:
- Comprehensive interviews about sexual behavior, family background and reasons for participating in the sperm donation program.
- An extensive family history (spanning in some cases, three generations), is taken and evaluated.
- The semen is analyzed for sperm cell count, forward sperm cell motility, and normal sperm morphology.
- The candidate is tested for infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C (and others).
- ABO-Rh blood typing.
- Genetic testing for cystic fibrosis.