WHY DONATE SPERM?
Donating sperm enables many people who cannot conceive naturally to have children. Sperm donated through the Aevitas Sperm Bank are used in fertility procedures, not research, and may result in conception. A sperm donor has the right to indicate to whom he would like to donate his sperm (for example, marital status of the couple, religion, sexual preference and ethnic grouping). Sperm donation is completely confidential. Many infertile couples have been able to have children through use of donated sperm. It is a precious gift.
WHO CAN DONATE SPERM?
Healthy, non-smoking men between the ages of 18 and 45. Men who are currently enrolled at a tertiary institute or have qualified from a tertiary institution (should you still be studying, you will be required to supply a copy of your certificate of highest qualification and/or proof of enrollment). Men of all races.
HOW DO I DONATE SPERM?
Please note: Aevitas is based in Pinelands, Cape Town, where all screening tests and donations can take place, Monday – Friday: 07:00 – 13:00. Donations can also be arranged for Stellenbosch and Tygerberg (by appointment only).
Step 1: Make an appointment for sperm analysis
If you would like to become a donor, the first step is to set up an appointment for your free semen analysis. If the semen analysis indicates sufficient quality to be admitted to the sperm donor programme, the prospective donor will be contacted within a week to confirm this.
Step 2: Blood screening & profile questionnaire
The prospective donor must then arrange a time to undergo a free blood screening and complete a donor profile questionnaire.
The following blood tests will be performed, as part of the blood screening, prior to starting the donation procedure: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Sexually transmitted infections (TPHA & RPR) Hepatitis B and C.
Step 3: Sperm collection procedure
The donor will be expected to produce semen samples twice a week. Only semen samples that are of sufficient quality will be frozen and used in the sperm donor programme.
Up to 80 straws of frozen sperm are deemed sufficient per donor and are collected from approximately 10 to 20 samples, depending on the volume of the ejaculate. In the future, if more sperm is required once the samples have been depleted, the donor may donate again.
*Blood samples are also required for screening every six weeks. The final blood screening will be taken four weeks after the last semen sample has been accepted.
Note: Semen qualities may differ between samples. Binge drinking has a negative effect on semen quality and donors are required to abstain from drinking alcohol at least 48 hours to maximise the chances of producing semen that will be acceptable for cryopreservation. It is also important to have 3 days of abstinence (no sex or masturbation) to ensure the highest quality samples.
DO I GET PAID FOR DONATING SPERM?
Donors are not expected to pay for any medical costs associated with the donation procedure. Furthermore, donors are reimbursed for their time and travel costs up to the amount of R 6 000.
Only samples that fulfil all the required semen parameters will be frozen. If the donor knows in advance that he will not meet the desired pre-requisites for a good semen sample, he needs to reschedule his appointment with the laboratory. Samples of insufficient quality will not be accepted and the donor will not receive compensation for time and travel costs related to that appointment.
WHAT IF I DECIDE I WANT TO QUIT THE DONOR PROGRAMME?
A donor can leave the programme at any point, although any sperm that has been frozen and stored in the sperm bank is property of the Aevitas Sperm Bank. If a donor leaves the programme before their quota has been reached the donor must give a blood sample one month after his last donation to receive his accumulated money owed to him.
THE LEGAL STUFF
Donating sperm is legal according to the National Health Act, 2003: Regulations regarding artificial fertilisation and related matters. A donor may not be paid for sperm, but may be compensated for time, effort and transport costs.
A donor is registered with the National Health Directorate and may only donate at one institution. A careful record is kept of all sperm donors, their donations and the resultant pregnancies.
The donor’s identity remains anonymous from the sperm recipient, and visa versa, as disclosure of donor and recipient identities is prohibited by South African law. The identity of the donor remains anonymous, and the recipients do not have a right to learn the identity of the donor or solicit donor-identifying information from any other source. The donor will also not receive any information regarding the recipients of the sperm, and is free from all responsibility to the biological offspring produced by his sperm. The donor can decide whether he wants to know if he has produced any pregnancies or not.
*A donor is only allowed six live births resulting from their sperm.