What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Before sperm donation, you'll likely be asked to abstain from ejaculation — either through sex or masturbation — for two to five days.

During the procedure

Sperm donation is typically done at a sperm bank. You'll provide a semen sample in a sterile cup through masturbation in a private room.

After the procedure

After you provide a sperm donation, the sample will be frozen (cryopreserved) and kept in quarantine for at least 180 days. Then you'll be tested again for infectious diseases, such as HIV.

If all of your test results come back negative, your frozen sample will be thawed and sperm quantity, quality and movement will be evaluated again. Sperm samples from some men are more susceptible to damage during the freezing process than are others. Damage caused by the freezing process can also differ among samples from the same donor.

If your sperm meet the quality standards, you'll be selected as a donor.

Keep in mind that most sperm banks limit the number of children your sperm can be used to conceive. However, specific guidelines and limits vary.

If you test positive for any medical conditions, you'll be notified and referred to treatment and counseling.

July 20, 2012