I have done a number of jobs in my life and talk about how I made money online over the last two decades, but being a sperm donor was certainly one of the most interesting jobs.
And to be honest the most fun!
I was first exposed to the potential of donating sperm for money at university, but it didn’t quite work out, and I reveal why below. But later on, after leaving university I gave it a go again and enjoyed an 18-month “career” as a professional sperm donor whilst living in London.
I played around with the title of this blog post for a while mostly because the title I wanted to use might not be well received.
So, enough of the foreplay and let’s jump into one of the best jobs I have ever done in the last 20 years of working.
First Time Being Sperm Donor
I first heard about sperm donating when at University as a few of my friends did this to top up their money for studying, or more like beer money.
Being a poor student and the bravado of being a bit of “fun” without really appreciating the wider implications, I decided to give it a go.
I and a few friends were accepted as donors after providing an initial sample. Once accepted you have your first full health screening to check if you are medically fine to continue, so no nasty diseases or genetic disorders.
Up to this point, I had never been concerned about needles, but the embryologist was truly terrible taking blood and the needle came out of my vein with blood running down my arm.
The sight of this and her jabbing the needle back into my vein caused me to pass out. But apparently not just pass out, but to collapse on the floor and start shaking, possible in shock.
With the sirens going off, I had a doctor checking me over and asking if I had taken drugs (talk about a stereotype of students!).
I remember clearly thinking my two friends outside must have been thinking “blimey, we’re next!”.
What’s funny now remembering this is going back to halls of residence with a massive bruise on my forehead when friends knew I had just been to the clinic to donate.
Ever since that day, I am still cautious of needles. I believe the embryologist didn’t take blood after that day either!
The experience meant I didn’t try to continue being a sperm donor whilst at university and so only did it the once. I was gutted,
Professional Sperm Donor = Best Job Ever!
A few years later after university, I was teaching myself to be a web developer, mostly through books and picking up small website development jobs. I saw an advert for a clinic based in London that was looking for sperm donors.
I decided to get in touch and give it a try again. I really needed money to help offset the huge costs of living in London and having very little to no work.
I was introduced to a really nice embryologist who talked me through the process, I was still a little familiar with it from the university.
Now, I should mention that there is a limit to how many times you can donate your sperm, so it’s not a get rich quick scheme. The reason is the last thing you want is in years to come is that your genetic offspring are now sleeping with others and sharing the same genetic code!
Although I understand this is can be fairly common in certain places of the World.
Back then the sperm donation limit was 20 times, however, I was asked to donate much more than this in order to stockpile sperm for the couples who had already started to have children with my donation.
As such, I believe I went around 40 times, possibly more!
This was great as you can imagine, being paid to do something I would clearly have been doing for free.
How Do You Donate Sperm at the Clinic
The routine for donating was straight forward. I would go to the clinic and be shown to a room that had a few out of date adult magazines and a cup with my name on it.
A quick flick through the magazines and before long the cup was full – well sort of.
I would pass the cup to one of the embryologists and then leave.
Because I ended up donating so many times to ensure plenty of stock, I had started doing freelance contract work in the City of London whilst still doing my weekly visits.
One day during my lunchtime I decided to pop in and do a donation.
Clearly no-one in the office knew where I was off to. Unfortunately, during the middle of donating I received a really badly timed call from the office, and it went something like this:
“Hi Adam, can you talk?”
“Yes, I have my hands full but yes I can talk!”
I really struggled to stop laughing at this point.
Apparently my manager wanted me to grab a sandwich for her at the local shop.
Clearly I was going to get one without mayo!
Why Did I Decide To Donate My Sperm
I would very much like to say it was completely altruistic and for philanthropic reasons why I decided to be a sperm donor. Although part of me thought it was a good thing to do, helping couples who are unable to conceive and really want to have children is a good thing to do.
It’s not only opposite-sex couples struggling to have their own children, but also same-sex couples looking to have children.
However, the overriding reason was for money the clinic would pay per donation.
It may well sound flippant now, but getting paid to do something I did regularly seemed like a no-brainer to me!
I had also read that regular masturbation was good for you although there is a lot to be said from abstaining as I found out in my 30-days no masturbation challenge.
So, how much money did I earn from donating sperm?
Before guys go rushing to their local clinic to “get rich from donating sperm” – this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. The same as the aptly named make money online course – the rich jerk 😉
I got paid £20 in cash per donation, which I remember thinking was pretty good.
Remember we are talking about 20+ years ago when you could actually have a day out in London for that!
How Many Kids Do I Have?
As you can imagine most guys were a little embarrassed when going to the clinic, but I found this fine.
I got on very well with the embryologist at the sperm Clinic in London. In fact, one day, chatting with her I thought why not ask her out for dinner, little did I know she was married and actually 3-months pregnant!
I was certainly embarrassed that day.
One day though she did let slip how many kids I had as an explanation of why she wanted me to continue donating.
Turned out that I already had 15-kids! That’s right.
Apparently it’s common to have twins and sometimes triplets when using fertility treatment.
This was surprising, to say the least.
Steps to Become A Sperm Donor
You can find a local donation clinic easy enough in your area in most big cities.
If you don’t see an advert, then contact your local health department and they will point you in the right location. For example, in London you can get in touch with https://www.londonspermbank.com/.
When you have your first visit you’ll be asked some general questions and an initial check to see if you’re suitable, see the requirements below.
You will then be tested for a range of infections and genetic conditions via a blood test, for example; HIV 1 & HIV 2, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Cytomegalovirus, Gonorrhoea, Trichomonas, HTLV 1 and 2, Rhesus antibody screen, Cystic Fibrosis, General Chromosome Screen, as well as ethnic-specific tests.
Next, you will have to provide a primary sample at the center, and your semen will be tested for the overall sperm count you can provide and if it is suitable for freezing.
Sperm Donor Requirements
The requirements for donating sperm do vary in each country. At the time I did it in the UK the following criteria was used:
- Age between 18 and 41 (used to 18 to 35 though)
- Be healthy and reasonable fit condition
- No drug use
- Provide valid UK ID
- Free from any serious medical condition
- Importantly – Have a high sperm count (motility and count etc)
Are Sperm Donors Anonymous?
So whenever someone finds out that I used to be a sperm donor the inevitable question of anonymity pops up.
When I donating sperm the law was very clear in that it was completely anonymous. The only details are known to the donor-conceived genetic siblings once they turn 16 are basic physical attributes (color of hair, eyes, height), ethnicity, medical history.
From 2005 in the UK the law did change so that more details could be released to the siblings (such as name, birth date, and address) that made it possible to contact them.
All my donations were made well before 2005.
This does beg the question of how I would feel about being contacted by my donor-conceived genetic siblings.
Well, it would certainly be awkward eh?
And to dispel a myth, I haven’t emigrated from the UK to avoid being found by my donated siblings 😉
Almost on Early Morning UK TV
A few months after I finished donating I was contacted by the sperm donation clinic asking if I wanted to appear on UK television discussing the proposed change in the donating anonymity law.
The well-known TV program was Richard & Judy, a household name in the UK for discussing UK issues along with the usual celebrity nonsense.
A little apprehensive I agreed to appear on the program and was told to expect a phone call that week with the details. To do so, I had to keep my week fairly free and initially was fine to do but as the days went by I had to get on with work, so I declined to appear on the program.
However, I forgot to mention to family and friends that I wasn’t going to appear on the program. So, when the feature went live one morning there was some confusion.
The main reason though, in an ironic twist of fate, the pseudonym of the guy who did appear on TV was called “Adam”. The silhouette of “Adam” didn’t look a bit like me either, as for the voiceover to disguise the voice!
So, a few family and friends who I told that I would be appearing on TV were a little confused thinking “that really doesn’t look like Adam we know!”.
Strange Twist of Fate
Fast forward many years and one of my best friends visited the same clinic I used to donate my sperm too to start fertility treatment. Without going into too much detail, they were both healthy adults but for some reason couldn’t’ conceive.
So, they went completely by chance to the same clinic I used to donate my sperm too. Of course, when we spoke about it and realized it was the same clinic, my friend was in shock.
It didn’t really help that I suggested maybe the kid will be born looking like me!
Needless to say, they had a beautiful baby girl, and she looked nothing like me.
How Do I Feel About This Now?
It’s been 20 plus years and I now have a family of my own – I mean kids that I have had an active part in nurturing them.
Knowing that I had 15-kids 20-years ago, means I could be a grandad at the age of 45 is a little daunting.
But, how do I feel knowing I have a number of kids in the UK that I will never see, and they will never see or get to know me?
To be honest, I feel completely fine with this.
I believe that nurture is one of the biggest parts of raising kids. I have seen the influence my wife and I have made with our kids, in terms of humor and behavior – not always good!
My wife did consider adopting years ago before we had our own children, but before we knew it my wife fell pregnant and we were then on the way to having a second.
Do I wonder how the kids are doing, being completely honest not really? They have their life and considering the time, emotional commitment, and finances of going through fertility treatment it’s very likely they had lovely parents. But I do wish them all well and hope they have happy, successful lives.
I am willing to bet this is one of the most-read blog articles on this site. With that in mind, sorry mum if you ever get to read this.
Hopefully you enjoyed this story, it’s certainly a talking point with family and friends even today. You really couldn’t make this stuff up or have I?