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How Old Do You Have to Be to Donate Sperm?

Sperm donation is a serious decision. Current guidelines set the maximum age at 40. Research suggests that men older than this may increase the risk of health disorders in the children they father.

Donors undergo rigorous medical testing for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, hepatitis B and C. They also undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling by a mental health professional.


Sperm donations are usually made by men between the ages of 18 and 39. Donors undergo a physical exam, semen testing, and genetic tests to see if they are carriers of inheritable diseases. They also have to report their family and medical history.

Once they have passed all the screening requirements, donors may start making regular sperm donations. Donors can choose to remain anonymous or give their identifying information to the person or couple that uses their sperm. The donor can also decide how involved he wants to be in the child’s life, but all parties need to sign an agreement stating the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

It used to be thought that younger men produced more fertile sperm, but a recent study from the U.K. found that older men produce just as fertile sperm as their younger counterparts. The research analyzed data from 39,282 cycles of IVF from 1991 to 2012 and found no decline in the fertility rate of men over 40. The researchers concluded that the reason why women were less likely to become pregnant when using sperm from older men could be that they have poorer support systems and do not go to therapy.

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Although height requirements for sperm donors vary by clinic and country, the general rule is that men must be over 18 and no more than 40. Those who are 40 and older often have lower sperm counts and less motility, making them less likely to fertilize eggs, Witjens says.

Donors must pass multiple health tests, including a semen analysis and blood tests to check for genetic diseases that could be passed on to children, Centola says. They also have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, which can include questions about childhood photos, family health history and other stats like eye color and height.

If they make the final cut, sperm donors are paid between $40 and $100 per sample, depending on the clinic. They agree to sign a legal contract giving up all rights and responsibilities for any biological children born from their semen, Ilowite says. Many sperm banks have anonymous donor profiles on their websites, so families can choose their donors without knowing their names. This allows couples to avoid stigma around same-sex marriage and other issues, Witjens says.


Most countries have laws that govern how many children a sperm donor can produce. This limit helps prevent accidental consanguinity (inbreeding between relatives) and other problems. However, this limit may not be followed strictly.

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In addition to age requirements, sperm donors have to undergo a physical exam, semen testing and genetic testing before being accepted. They must also provide an extensive medical history and family health information.

Typically, sperm banks require donors to be between 19 and 34 years old. They must also be tall, healthy and heterosexual. Some sperm banks are more selective than others. For example, California Cryobank only accepts donors who attend or have graduated from a major four-year university.

If you choose to donate your sperm, it’s important to consider how much contact you want to have with future donor-conceived children. You will need to write a goodwill message that can be read by the women who receive your sperm and any of their children in the future. You should also seek out psychological counseling if necessary. This is especially true if you choose to have your identity released to the children conceived from your sperm.


Sperm donations are used for fertility treatment for men with male infertility and for women who can’t get pregnant. It’s important for a donor to maintain good health and make sure they don’t have any medical conditions that could cause pregnancy complications.

Generally, sperm donors are required to undergo a thorough physical exam and background check before being accepted into the program. This includes a full genital examination and color vision test along with blood, urine, and genetic testing to ensure that they don’t pass on hereditary diseases or other conditions.

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The sperm is then frozen and quarantined for six months. This process is done to ensure that the sperm is healthy and that it can withstand the freezing and thawing process. Donors are also required to take a series of pills that help with ejaculatory dysfunction.

Donors can donate through a sperm bank or sperm agency. The process is usually anonymous, but laws vary by jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions prohibit non-anonymous sperm donation, while others require a donor to give up all legal rights to their biological children.


A donor may also be asked to provide a family history. This can include the medical histories of parents and siblings, grandparents and aunts and uncles stretching back several generations in order to check for diseases such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis that might disqualify him.

Donors are required to visit the clinic on a regular schedule (weekly or twice-weekly). This allows staff members to keep track of their health and lifestyle. It also allows donors to be monitored for signs of deterioration in quality, which could indicate that their sperm has become degraded.

Most sperm banks and fertility clinics require their donors to commit to a particular timetable of visits and to stick with this schedule for a minimum of six months. This is because a donor’s health and sperm quality are important to the success of insemination. Donors who fail to comply are not compensated for their time and effort.