Sperm Bank

There are several well-known sperm banks world-wide that ship both nationally and internationally. We recommend contacting them directly to ensure you are legally able to ship to your clinic or residence. Your clinic may be able to receive/order the sperm for you.

Choosing a donor
On the Sperm Banks websites, they will have profiles for you to choose from. Some require a fee before granting access, others will be free. There is a choice of anonymous vs open ID donors. Some countries prohibit open ID donors whilst in others it can be a legal requirement.
Selection can be based on eye, skin and hair colour, height, ethnicity, area of study/profession, personality etc. You may be able to view detailed information about their family medical history, own offspring or offspring born from donations, listen to their voices, see baby and adult photos, read about their personalities and the staffs impressions of the donors. A Kiersey Test may also be available-
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is a self-assessed personality questionnaire. www.kiersey.com

The sperm bank can sell “washed” sperm (the ejaculatory fluid is washed away, and the sperm stored in synthetic fluids).  This means it is ready to be thawed and used for intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Unwashed sperm is frozen within the ejaculate.
Fresh sperm vs frozen sperm success rates are controversial. Some say there is no difference whilst other sources claim frozen sperm has a slightly lower rate.

Costs vary depending on the sperm bank, shipping charges, open ID or anonymous donors, washed or unwashed sperm, access fees and 'extras' such as the personality tests.

Donor Screening
Cryopreserved (frozen) semen, and all donor samples are quarantined for a minimum of six months before they are released, so that they’re thoroughly screened for sexually transmitted diseases. Donors are men whose ages range from 18-39 years.

Screening typically includes:

  • Blood and urine analysis:
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody
  • Hepatitis C Viral Antibody
  • Syphilis (RPR)
  • CMV IgG/IgM
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chemistry Panel
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Urinalysis
  • ABO-Rh Blood typing

Genetic testing can include the following, race dependant:

Family medical history, reviewed by a genetic specialist or a medical doctor.
Cystic Fibrosis screening
Chromosome analysis
Tay-Sachs disease
Canavan disease disease
Familial Dysautonomia
Fanconi Anemia type C
Gaucher disease
Niemann-Pick type A disease
Sickle Cell Anemia
Canavan disease
Carnitine transporter deficiency
Congenital Adrenal hyperplasia
Familial mediterranean fever
Karyotype (46,XY)

If the donor belongs to a race or is from an ethnic group where the risk of him being a carrier of hereditary diseases, the donor is tested to establish if he is a carrier. As some countries have different approval procedures for donors and semen, donors are tested and approved according to these.

Do all donor's undergo a comprehensive screening process?
Each sperm bank has general tests plus specific testing for different races.

Are samples quarantined prior to release?
Sperm is cryopreserved to allow for retesting of a variety of infectious diseases. This means that freshly collected sperm must be stored for a minimum of six months before repeat testing.

Why do they choose to donate?
Donors often donate to help childless people as financial remuneration is usually quite low.

What is an open donor vs an anonymous donor?
A donor may choose to be an anonymous donor or an open identity (ID) donor. Open ID: When children born from the sperm of open donors turn 18, they receive information about or obtain contact with their donor.

For anonymous donors: The donor cannot be contacted by the recipient or the child.

Both anonymous and open ID donors are not allowed to receive information about the identity of the recipient or the child. A donor has no paternal rights to a child born as a result of treatment. Open donors, like anonymous donors, are legally absolved of all legal responsibilities for children born from their donation.

Should I be concerned about the donor's blood type?
The donor's blood type may be important to consider if the mother is Rh negative (Rh-). These women may develop antibodies to a foetus that is Rh positive. You may also prefer to have the same blood type as the Intended Father. Children do not always inherit the same blood type as their biological parents. For example, parents with blood types A and B could have children with blood types: A, B, O, or AB.

Unwashed or washed semen?
It is also called raw semen or prepared semen. Raw semen (or unwashed) can only be used for vaginal or cervical insemination as it contain prostaglandins and bacteria which should not be inseminated into the uterus. Washed/IUI-ready semen has been treated with these removed from the plasma. IUI-ready semen can be inseminated directly into the uterus or used for IVF. Raw semen can also be used for IUI or IVF, after thawing and following specific preparation.

How to self inseminate?                                                                                 

How many children can be born from each donor?
Sperm Banks limit the number of children that can be born from each donor. They may have their own individual maximums or they may meet the limits imposed by their national criteria or the receiver’s country of origin. In order to track births, most will request that they are informed of pregnancies/births either by direct contact or on-line forms. They may also have information on the number of children born to any one donor under his profile information.

What is CMV ?
CMV is a virus within the herpes group of viruses, which tends to remain dormant in the body after an initial infection. CMV can be transmitted through urine, saliva, mucus, cervical secretions, semen, blood or breast milk.
In order to detect if a person has been exposed to CMV, a blood sample is tested for anti-bodies to the virus. Two classes of antibodies are checked for, IgG and IgM. The IgG class of antibody indicates if the individual has ever been exposed to the virus  and built antibodies against the virus. Testing positive for the IgM class of antibody  is an indicator of recent or current infection.