IF YOU’VE EVER played with the idea of donating your swimmers, check out this research, which found what traits women look for in a sperm donor (Hint: The socially inept and lively extroverts need not apply).
You’ve probably also had tons of questions stemming from your own curiosity and what’s been portrayed in media and movies. We asked Laura Ilowite, licensed master social worker and donor coordinator/patient relations specialist at Manhattan CryoBank, to answer the most commonly asked questions about sperm donation.
Ilowite also has a piece of advice for wannabe donors: “Do you research on sperm donation before you apply,” she says. “While I understand people do sperm donation for compensation, there is a larger impact, and you should seriously consider how you feel about having a child with your genetic material out there in the world you might not ever know about.”
1. What’s the confidentiality policy?
You’re probably not inclined to tack “sperm donor” on your résumé, or throw it up as a fun fact your social media channels either. We get it. “There’s a bit of a taboo about sperm donation,” Ilowite says. “Men want to know exactly how they’re displayed on the website.” You’ll be relieved to know your face and name are completely hidden; meanwhile, your profile is reminiscent of a dating website. If a couple likes your traits, they’ll choose you. You can also opt to be an anonymous donor or an ID disclosure donor. (Which brings us to slide 2.)
2. Are there different types of donors?
Anonymous donors are men who choose to be entirely nameless and unreachable. “Any child born of their specimen will never know who they are; the only information they’ll ever get is the health and genetics information provided on the website,” Ilowite says. ID disclosure donors wish to share their information. “When a child reaches the age of 21, they can contact the sperm bank, provide proof their biological mother purchased the sperm specimen, and then we can provide him/her with the sperm donor’s last known contact information,” Ilowite adds. Currently the CryoBank in Manhattan, has about 40 Anonymous Donors and 70 ID Disclosure Donors. (As you can imagine, this number changes month to month.)
3. How often can you donate?
The most you can donate is three times a week. This coincides with the sperm banks regulations outlined, next, on slide four.
4. Do you have to abstain from sex at any point?
“There’s a recommended abstinence period of 2-5 days per donation that’s ideal for donation,” Ilowite says. Your body is constantly producing sperm. The longer you wait between ejaculations, the more sperm there is to sample. Aside from sperm count, this is also the optimal amount of time to test the amont of sperm that’s swimming in your semen, how well that sperm is moving, and whether their shape is up to par with healthy sperm standards.
5. How much money can you make?
While compensation varies among sperm banks, a donor can expect to make $80-$110 per donation, Ilowite says, depending on whether you’re an anonymous or ID disclosure donor. Anonymous donors earn less than ID disclosure donors simply because they’re giving up more, allowing any and all biological children to make contact. If you’re donating three times a week, you can make upwards of $960-$1,320 each month. That’s $11,520-$15,840 a year.