Donating sperm – honestly it was the best thing I’ve ever done
I’m 34, in a relationship and I’m a sperm donor, and I’m really proud of that. Along with the wonderful people at CARE Fertility I have helped to create children for ten different families. I guess these are families that might never have existed without me. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I’ve been able to help give these people the baby they wanted so much and, that after a long struggle for them, they will be able to cherish their children every day.
I had been thinking about being a donor for ages but didn’t know where to start – it’s not something you might talk to your mates about is it? I had friends who were struggling to have a child and my sister also had some treatment, so I was curious about how it all worked.
The donation process itself started with health questionnaires and blood tests - all donors are checked out for infections such as HIV and Hep B. I had a meeting with a Fertility Consultant at CARE all to make sure I was medically and genetically ok to donate. There is also a compulsory counselling session to understand I had thought through what this would mean for me, as there is a chance the tests would reveal something about my health or genes I didn’t know. We also talked about if the donation was successful, I would have biological children out there that I might never meet. So that’s something to consider.
Once the testing has been done, I had to donate eight to ten times before the clinic had what they need. It does require some abstinence and discipline, but in the grand scheme of things, thirty days without sex, spread out over a couple of months, isn’t a big deal. One last sample was needed to complete all the quarantine tests and then the donations are available for patients.
The donation team at CARE sort everything out for the patient after that – using my frozen sperm samples for treatments.
You can find out how many babies have been born, along with their gender and their year of birth, but that’s it. When they reach the age of 18, they’ll be able to find out a bit more about me and are able to get in touch. That’s a strange feeling and I do wonder what their lives are like. Perhaps one day I’ll have a chance to find out, at least with a few of them. It isn’t something I’m worried about though… I’m actually quite looking forward to it!”
Donating sperm – it’s definitely worth thinking about.