Sperm donation is a procedure in which a man donates semen — the fluid containing sperm that is 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.

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

June 13, 2015