DEC 01, 2017 09:57 AM PST

What you don't know about sperm banks

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Are you a sperm bank baby? Or are your children? Maybe you're just thinking about using a sperm donor and want to learn more about the process. So let's break it down.

A sperm bank is a general name for the place where men can go to donate sperm and where said sperm is then frozen and later used in in vitro fertilization. As IVF is becoming more and more popular, the industry of sperm donations has also boomed and many men (up to 80% of donors) decide to donate sperm as an economic pursuit for their own lives. In some cases, a single donation can earn a man $100!

But it isn't as easy as what you may have in mind. There are over 500 sperm banks in the US and each one has very specific screening processes, ensuring that the sperm donations received are of "top quality" for the customers. While most banks test to make sure sperm count is adequate and sperm are able to activate after freezing, others do additional tests to rule out the possibility of drug use, HIV, STIs, and genetic disorders. But be forewarned that because the FDA does not regulate sperm banks, there is a lot of inconsistency out there! Want to learn more? Watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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