Learning Hub Overview

Sperm banks offer a unique level of reproductive freedom to single women and couples, by providing a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to decisions about having children.

Sperm banking is a not a new technology.
Although they are increasing in popularity in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world, sperm banks have been around for almost half a century. The first two sperm banks were opened in 1965 in Iowa City, Iowa and Tokyo, Japan.

Donor sperm is utilized by both single women and couples.

Sperm banks are widely utilized by infertile couples as well as single women and women in lesbian relationships. Some statistics indicate that as many as one in eight infertile couples require the use of donor sperm to conceive. At Seattle Sperm Bank, approximately 30% of clients are infertile couples.

Sperm banks follow strict donor screening and testing regulations.

Since May 25, 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulated reproductive tissue banks, including sperm banks. All sperm banks, including Seattle Sperm Bank, are required by the FDA to thoroughly screen and test donors before accepting sperm for donation. In addition to providing extensive information regarding personal and family medical histories, donors must undergo a physical examination, blood and urine testing, and semen analysis. Donors are tested for communicable diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis B, and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as genetic disorders. In addition, sperm banks generally require donors to provide detailed information about their personal habits, education, hobbies and interests. At Seattle Sperm Bank, about 0.9% of applicants are accepted as sperm donors. For more details regarding the screening and testing conducted by Seattle Sperm Bank, see the Donor Screening tab on the website.