6 tips: How to choose the sperm donor that’s right for you

Choosing a sperm donor to help you get pregnant can feel like a big decision. We’ve compiled a list of our best tips to help you make your choice.

October 06, 2023
5 min. read
Lotte Sørensen

Choosing a sperm donor is an important decision. So, it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself to make the perfect choice. But remember, there is no such thing as perfection when it comes to human beings, which is what our donors are. Thankfully, with our almost 20 years of experience we are sure that you will love your child no matter your choice.

With that in mind, here’s our top advice for finding the perfect donor that’s right for you.

1. Choose a few traits that are important to you

We recommend that you decide on three traits that you find important. Perhaps education or personality matter to you or maybe you want the donor to look a certain way?

The donor profiles contain a lot of information, and you will be overwhelmed if you focus on every detail there is to know. Closing in on your priorities means you don’t have to spend too much time looking into things that don't matter to you.

2. Don’t stress over the donor’s Medical Summary

All our donors are healthy and thoroughly screened for the most common hereditary diseases as well as sexually transmitted infections. But it’s very unlikely that you will find a donor who has no medical conditions in his family at all. No one goes through life without illness.

This is perfectly normal, and our medical team make a detailed analysis of the donor applicant’s health and family medical history to assess if there’s a risk of passing a serious condition on to a child. Our screening process is so thorough that only 7-9% of applicants are approved to become donors.

Watch the video below, where our clinical geneticist explains how we review the medical history of the donor candidate and his family.

One reason to pay special attention to a donor’s medical history is if you have serious conditions running in your family. If you already know that you are a carrier of a genetic condition, we recommend using our free Known Carrier Match service. The laboratory compares your genes with the genes of the donor to make sure he is not a carrier of the same conditions as you.

3. Find a sperm donor who looks like you or your partner with Photo Match

Whether you are a heterosexual couple struggling with infertility, an aspiring solo mum or an LGBTQ+ couple, you might consider a donor who looks like someone you know; perhaps yourself, a family member or your partner.

That’s why we’ve created our free Photo Match. Upload a photo of a person and we will find donors that look similar.

4. Choose a shortlist of donors instead of just one

Sometimes you have to change your donor during your fertility process if, for instance, you need more treatments than expected and run out of sperm straws and no more is available at that point in time from your preferred donor. This can be heartbreaking if you have your heart set on one particular donor.

To avoid this, we recommend creating a shortlist of donors you like, so you have a plan B and C and don’t have to go through the process of finding a donor again.

5. Decide whether you want your child to be able to learn the donor’s identity

At European Sperm Bank, we offer ID release donors and No ID release donors. All the information in the donor profile is the same – the only difference is that when you choose an ID release donor, your child will be able to learn the name of the donor if they wish when they reach legal age.

Bear in mind that some countries only allow one type of donation. In the UK for instance, only ID release donations are allowed.

Whatever you choose, we recommend being open with your child about their origin from an early age. Read our full guide on how to talk to your child about their conception at any age here.

6. Accept that you can’t control everything

The donor provides 50% of your child’s genes. The rest comes from you. And still, some traits skip a generation, so for instance, your child's nose might not look exactly like yours or your donor's. We all know people who don't look very similar to their parents or have different talents, but it's easy to forget this when you are searching for your sperm donor.

There is no magic recipe for choosing your donor, and just as in life no one is perfect. So, once you have narrowed down the field of potential donors, trust your instincts and make the choice that feels right to you.
Know that no matter what donor you choose, you will love your child!

Are you still struggling to choose a sperm donor?

We are more than happy to help. Book a free fertility consultation with one of our competent and empathic advisors.