Sperm banks and donor screening

Being a parent is fascinating – from hearing your baby laugh for the first time to seeing them run back and forth with other kids in the park. Of course, everyone deserves to taste moments like this, but sometimes people need the help of medical professionals to do so.

If you want to be a parent, but you need a surrogate as well as a sperm donor, you are not alone. Thousands of intended parents choose sperm donation, IVF, and surrogacy – also known as third-party reproduction – to make their dream of becoming mothers and fathers realize. Suppose you are still in the phase of consideration; you may need some information about the process of sperm donation surrogacy/IVF to help you decide whether you want to take this route.


Sadly, men feel stressed out when they find out they need a sperm donor to have a baby. The feeling of loss is normal and, unfortunately, prevalent in such cases. Nevertheless, you should not feel guilty and blame everything on yourself either.

Sperm donation is a procedure in which a man donates fluid containing sperm released during ejaculation called semen to help a couple or an individual conceive a child. Donated sperm may be injected into a woman’s reproductive organs (intrauterine insemination). It can also be used to fertilize mature eggs in a lab (in vitro fertilization). A man who donates sperm may be anonymous or known to the recipient. Directed donations are sperm donations made to a known recipient.

Keep in mind that before someone can donate sperm, he must be screened for medical conditions and other risk factors. It’s also essential to understand the possible legal issues of sperm donation.


There are open and non-contact donors. A non-contact donor doesn’t want his identity to be revealed to the child. However, if you choose an open donor, your child can find out the donor’s identity when they come of age. Whether both types of donors are available in your treatment country depends on the individual country’s legislation. If having an open or non-contact donor is vital for you, consider getting treatment in a country that allows your preferred donor type.

We know how complex this topic is, and you should also remember that there are no true or false answers to the questions like whether intended parents must choose anonymous donors or not – what works for others may not work for you and vice versa, so it is up to you.


Intended parents-to-be like you want to receive every vital information about their sperm donor, which is understandable as this is the very person who will help them achieve their goal.

As a rule, sperm donor profiles provide details about the donor’s:

  • Physical parameters: height, eye and hair color, weight
  • Blood type
  • Education level
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Languages spoken
  • Whether he is a twin or not
  • Ethnic origin (paternal and maternal)
  • Career goals
  • Interests/hobbies
  • How he would describe himself
  • Familial medical history, etc.

These profiles include photos of the donor’s childhood, and if you feel the need to view their photos of adulthood, some sperm banks can provide them for an extra charge.

Nevertheless, the essential qualities of your sperm donor are not his hair color, height, or blood type but the intangible things like what he loves to do in his free time, his passions, and his vision of the world that lay in his essays his profile. So, you should be able to read in between the lines to choose the best candidate.


Sperm donors undergo numerous tests and an extensive process of screening before they are selected.

The Food and Drug Administration requires primary examination of infectious diseases and particular risk factors before someone can donate his sperm.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggests that males who want to make sperm donations undergo these screenings:

  • Most sperm banks select donors between the ages of 18 and 39.
  • Physical exam. The exam will include taking samples of the candidate’s blood and urine to test for infectious diseases, such as HIV. If he becomes a regular sperm donor, he’ll need to have physical exams every six months while he provides sperm donations. In addition, he’ll be asked to report any changes in his health.
  • Semen testing. Someone who wants to donate sperm will need to provide several samples of his semen. Before giving each vial, he’ll likely be asked to avoid ejaculation for at least 48-72 hours. Then, the samples will be examined for sperm quality, quantity, and movement.
  • Genetic testing. Sperm banks analyze a blood sample to see if a donor is a carrier of any hereditary conditions. Some banks conduct more extensive testing than others.
  • Family medical history. A potential donor needs to provide details about the medical history of at least two previous generations of his family. A record that suggests the presence of a hereditary disease might disqualify him from donating sperm.
  • Psychological evaluation. A candidate will likely be asked if he’s concerned about sharing his personal information with the intended parents’ children or about future contact with them.
  • Personal and sexual history. A donor needs to provide a detailed record of his sexual activities, drug use, and other personal information to show his risk factors for developing an infectious disease, such as HIV. In addition, he’ll be asked to share detailed information about his habits, education, hobbies, and interests. He might also be asked to provide pictures or videos of himself or audio recordings of his voice.
  • Testing for infectious diseases is done during the initial screening and repeated approximately every three months after that. It includes:
    • Hepatitis B Virus surface antigen
    • Hepatitis B Virus core antibody
    • Hepatitis C Virus antibody
    • Hepatitis C Virus NAT (Nucleic Acid Test)
    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea
    • CMV Total antibody
    • HTLV I/II antibody
    • HIV1/HIV2 antibody
    • HIV 1 NAT (Nucleic Acid Test)
    • Syphilis Serology


Transporting frozen sperm from a sperm bank to the destination clinic is the usual process of shipping. Samples are frozen and stored at a sperm bank right after the donor is extensively tested and approved After selection by the patient it is transported safely by special storage canisters. It should also be said that biological samples like this are shipped by experienced and special shipping companies. Donor sperm may be shipped to any destination. Companies send shipments using dry shipper tanks charged with liquid nitrogen. It’s also helpful to know that the tanks differ from each other in size and storage regulatory mechanisms depending on your delivery distance.

All in all, sometimes using the help of sperm donors is the only way to have a baby, especially if you are incapable of naturally conceiving yourself due to male infertility or you are a single woman. Choosing a suitable sperm donor is vital for your IVF cycle or surrogacy journey, so is trusting a good surrogacy agency. We at Royal Surrogacy always make every effort to make the whole journey of surrogacy and sperm donation as smooth as possible for you and all our clients.