The 5 most frequently asked questions about sperm donation

Some of the most common questions we receive are about sperm donation. Can we pick our donor? Will the baby look like us? Where can you find a donor? Some of these questions are answered by the Spanish law 14 of 2006, which states that all gamete donations (sperm and eggs) are anonymous. Do you want to know more?

1. Can we pick the donor?

Sperm donation is completely anonymous. Which means that mothers can’t choose any of the baby’s traits. However, this also means that the children can’t meet their biological father and he also doesn’t have any legal rights over the children. The donor will not have any information on the women who decide to use his sperm.

Due to its anonymous nature, the donation can’t be done with a family member or friend’s sperm.

2.Where can we find a donor?

The sperm donation process is very simple. The man will go to an assisted reproduction centre and there he will undergo some testing in order to determine his eligibility. If his tests are satisfactory the entire donation process takes around 3 to 9 months in total. It consists of going to the centre every week to deposit a sample.

The donor must collect the sample in a sterile container every time. The sample must be collected after a period of 3 to 5 days of abstinence from masturbating (in order to guarantee the quality of the sperm).

Throughout this process the centre will conduct blood tests as many times as they deem necessary.

All the sperm samples are frozen and kept in a sperm bank.  Most assisted reproduction centres have their own sperm bank. Liquid nitrogen is used to keep the samples frozen safeguarding their original functional and morphological characteristics.

With IVF and other similar techniques, a woman can only have a maximum of three pre-embryos transferred every cycle.

3.Who can be a sperm donor?

Spanish law requires that the following criteria be met:

  • Must be between 18 to 35 years old.
  • Must go of their own volition and be aware of what the donation entails.
  • Be free of any infectious disease that might be transferable to offspring such as, HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B or C.
  • Be free of any genetic, hereditary or infectious disease that might be transferable to offspring.
  • Must be in good mental and physical health. The donor will undergo phenotype and psychological testing, as well as any other clinical tests that are required.
  • Must have an excellent sperm quality.
  • The donor must not have more than 6 children in the country in order to avoid kinship (blood relationships).

If the man doesn’t fulfil all these criteria he won’t be considered for donation in any clinic in Spain.

The sperm must be able to survive the freezing process because all samples are frozen for at least 6 months. This is the minimum amount of time in order to determine the presence of a sexually transmitted disease in the sample.

4. Is sperm donation a business?

The donations are by nature altruistic and never for profit. The monetary compensation given is for any disruption in the life of the donor in regards to commute and work costs that might have occurred due to the donation process.

5. Will the baby look like us?

You can’t choose your sperm or egg donor in Spain. You also can’t choose specific physical traits that you might like. The clinic will choose and assign you a donor that has the closest physical appearance to you both.

They take into account the physical characteristics (race, skin colour, eyes, hair, etc.) and clinical characteristics (blood type, RH factor).

If the patient has uncommon physical characteristics and a donor can’t be matched with them the clinic can get samples from a foreign sperm bank.

Do you have more questions? Contact us and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.

Barcelona, a hub for assisted reproduction techniques

During the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (EHRE) held in Barcelona from the 1st to the 4th of July more than 12.000 experts from 130 countries discussed the latest innovations in reproductive medicine.

Reproductive medicine is taking leaps and bounds in innovation and the main points discussed at this gathering were unexplained infertility and how to preserve fertility overall. They also tackled topics like how to prevent genetic diseases, failed implantations and premature depleted ovarian reserve.

Catalonia’s success rates for assisted reproduction techniques are amongst the highest, this is due to their use of advanced technology.

Half the women who undergo an assisted reproduction treatment in Catalonia are foreign.

In Catalonia more than 17.000 assisted reproduction treatments are performed every year and more than half the women (53%) are foreign. This number grows every year.   A lot of the patients are French due to their country’s laws and their proximity to Spain.

Spanish law allows assisted reproduction techniques that aren’t approved in other countries such as the shared motherhood method (ROPA) for female couples.

Do you want to start a family and you’d like to do it in Barcelona?

Here at Lesmaternity we can help you throughout the process:

  • Counselling: We take you through all the different fertility treatments available and how to choose the right one for you.
  • Services: Management of all your medical appointments and treatment schedules. We can also help with travel and lodging.
  • Follow up: We keep in touch during and after your pregnancy.

Contact us with all your questions so we can discuss them.