It’s theoretically possible to donate enough sperm to father 533 children, but it would take years. Men with good sperm quality can typically donate once or twice a week, but they need to abstain for periods before and after each donation.
Donors also undergo prescreening and quarantine, which takes a few months, as well as repeated infectious disease testing. And they must live in or near a NACB office to be eligible.
1. There is no legal limit.
Generally speaking, there is no legal limit to how many times you can donate sperm. However, most sperm banks will have some form of limit based on their needs and requirements. For example, sperm banks like California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank both require a certain number of visits from their donors each week or month to maintain a high semen count. This is because they want to be able to sell the highest quality sperm possible.
Additionally, most sperm banks will have some sort of limitation on how many families their donors can create with their sperm. These limits are typically set at around 10 separate families and are meant to ensure that the donor does not sire too many children with their sperm. This is done to help prevent the emergence of a large number of half-siblings, which can cause psychological issues for both the donor and the donor-conceived children.
In addition to these restrictions, most sperm banks will also have some sort of educational requirement for their donors. They will usually ask for proof of education, and will not accept any donors who are unable to demonstrate their ability to complete post-secondary schooling. This is because many of the traits that are associated with a successful sperm donation are linked to a person’s education and their life experiences.
2. You can donate as many times as you want.
There is no legal limit on how many times you can donate sperm. However, the number of times you can donate depends on your health and the quality of your sperm. Sperm banks have a high standard for donor sperm, and they require donors to be healthy and free of sexually transmitted diseases before they are allowed to make repeated donations. At FCC, we test potential donors for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STDs before they are allowed to donate sperm. Men who have certain genetic conditions or medical concerns are also not allowed to donate sperm.
Sperm donation is a long-term commitment. Once you’ve passed the screening process, most sperm banks will expect you to donate several times per week for up to a year. In return, you’ll be compensated for your time and effort.
Donating sperm can be an emotional journey for both the donors and the couples using it. It’s important to acknowledge your emotions, and if you need support, consider talking to a professional. Aaron Buckwalter, a Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist, explains that “There’s an element of grief and loss, especially for those whose families were planned and built through sperm donation.” He recommends working with a counselor to help you process your feelings about the process. He also recommends talking to the future parents about how they plan to talk to their children about being donor conceived, and when.
3. You can donate for as long as you want.
Sperm donors aren’t just giving up their time for a bit of cash; they are making a lifelong commitment to help people have children. Many sperm donors become fathers to children who are born from their donations, and they often maintain a relationship with those children and introduce them to the concept of the donation process at an early age.
If a donor is going to donate consistently, they will need to pass several initial exams and then have their first semen samples frozen for six months before donating again. And then they will need to be re-screened for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and gonorrhea. The entire process can take up to a year or more before a man is able to donate regularly.
In order to produce a good quality sample, donors have to abstain from sex for 2-3 days before each session at the lab. This means that they can only donate about once or twice a month at most. So the amount of money they can earn from sperm donation is likely to be quite low, even if they are donating for long periods of time.
Moreover, there are many expenses that come with being a sperm donor, such as the cost of undergoing medical examinations and sex tests. Moreover, many donors have to make appointments for visits to the laboratory during business hours. As a result, they can only donate for as long as their jobs or school schedule allow them.
4. You can donate for as many children as you want.
Sperm donation isn’t for everyone, and donors need to make a long-term commitment. They must abstain from ejaculating for periods of time and attend regular appointments with staff members to keep their semen counts high. They also have to undergo a thorough medical evaluation and submit to genetic testing. Sperm donors often have to travel to a facility for their donations, so they can’t just donate when it’s convenient.
Despite the arduous and time-consuming process, many donors are motivated by a desire to help others build families. They want to be a good father and role model, and they are rewarded with the warm feelings that come from knowing their contributions are making happy families.
But the industry is poorly regulated. Few countries have laws to regulate it, and there’s even less regulating the international market, where men can donate at clinics in other countries or global agencies like Cryos International. Those gaps have led to cases of donors fathering scores or more children, with their grown children discovering through websites like Donor Sibling Registry that they have dozens of half-siblings.
There are no formal limits on how many kids a donor can produce, but most sperm banks adhere to guidelines from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that recommend restricting conceptions by one donor to 25 births in a population of 800,000. This is meant to minimize the risk of inbreeding and genetic diseases.