Sperm donation

Sperm donation is a procedure in which a man donates semen — the fluid released during ejaculation — to help an individual or a couple conceive a baby.

Donated sperm can be injected into a woman's reproductive organs (intrauterine insemination) or used to fertilize mature eggs in a lab (in vitro fertilization). The use of donated sperm is known as third party reproduction.

A man who makes a sperm donation can be known or anonymous to the recipient. Sperm donations made to a known recipient are called directed donations.

You must be screened for medical conditions and other risk factors before you can make a sperm donation. It's also important to understand the possible emotional, psychological and legal issues of sperm donation.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect

Sperm donation is done to help an individual or a couple conceive a baby. You might choose to make a sperm donation to help those who are unable to conceive — such as a woman who doesn't have a male partner or a couple experiencing male infertility.

If you donate semen to a sperm bank, you'll likely be paid for each donation that passes the sperm bank's screening process. Payment is intended to compensate you for your time and any related expenses. The amount is typically low enough so that money isn't the main incentive for donating.

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