In this Side Gig Series post, I’ll tell you how much money you can get paid to donate sperm.
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The Side Gig Series talks about ways to increase your income. I want everyone to invest and become financially free, but to do that, you need to have extra income. To get this, you can spend less or make more. The Side Gig series will help you with the latter half of that equation and tell you how to make more money via side gigs.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how thousands of people search the web every year about how to make money donating their testicle. It still baffles my mind that anyone would ever want to do this. Aside from the fact that this is illegal, testicles don’t magically regenerate if you remove one. But you know what does regenerate? Sperm!
So consider this a follow up post to that article. Today, let’s learn about donating sperm as a side gig.
The TLDR (Too long, didn’t read): If you can pass the rigorous screening process and are motivated, you can get paid up to $1200/month donating sperm.
What is sperm donation?
Sperm donation is a process where men will provide donor sperm to a woman who is planning to use this sperm to have a child. This process is traditionally coordinated by sperm donation centers, which handle the screening process for both the donors and the sperm sample itself. This center is then where any person with a uterus and ovaries can go to access sperm for artificial insemination. Typical customers are people who want to become pregnant but have no male partner with suitable sperm, such as single women, lesbian couples, or a heterosexual couple where the male is infertile.
What is the workup?
The big problem with considering sperm donation as a side gig is that not all men will meet the criteria to become potential donors. There is a rigorous screening process to ensure that you’re a good candidate for donation. Even before the donation center gets around to analyzing your semen, you have to pass two hurdles: the questionnaire and the physical exam.
The detailed questionnaire is likely delivered via an online application and will include questions about the following topics:
- Detailed family history
- Medical history
- Sexual history
- Drug use history
- Age, height, weight, ethnic background, hair color, and eye color
- Personal characteristics like level of education and hobbies
Typically, men who have had sex with men are excluded, as are men who have a history of IV drug use. The detailed family history will try to ferret out any chance of common genetic conditions. If you have family members with genetic conditions, this might disqualify you from consideration.
You have to be at least 18 years of age to be considered, and there’s generally an age cut off at 39-40 years. Some sperm banks will have a certain minimum height and educational achievement level such as college.
The physical exam
If you pass the questionnaire and application, you’ll move along to the full physical exam. This is more than just a blood pressure check like for your physical every year. This is a thorough screening exam complete with blood tests, urine samples, a color vision test, and genetic testing.
The first few tests are to detect infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, or heritable traits like color blindedness. The genetic screening will look for common heritable conditions, such as thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and sickle cell anemia. The urine test might check for drugs and also be analyzed for blood, glucose, and inflammatory cells.
If you pass the questionnaire and the physical exam, you can move onto the test of your sperm quality.
The semen analysis
For this test, you’ll produce a semen sample in a sterile container, typically after 2-3 days of abstinence from ejaculation. Given the importance of the test, you’ll do this via masturbation at the sperm bank in a private room.
Your semen will be analyzed to check for a low sperm count and other factors like the general motility (speed) and morphology (shape) of your sperm.
If you get your test results and don’t meet the sperm bank’s criteria, don’t be disappointed. The sperm bank quality parameters are likely much higher than what is needed for perfectly normal fertility.
If you pass this lengthy application process, you’re probably going to have a heart to heart with the donor coordinator or similar administrator at the sperm bank. This person will make sure that you’re okay with the realities (and ethics) of becoming a sperm donor.
The ethics of sperm donation
While you might consider sperm donation to just be easy money, there are also real ethical considerations to keep in mind. You should ask yourself if you’re okay with being a father to an unknown number of children. You’ll have to come to grips that your biological children may never have a parental relationship with you.
If you are okay with this, you can feel gratified that your donation will give the gift of life and children to the world.
If you make it this far, congratulations. Sperm banks claim that only 1-5% of applicants make it through the screening process and decide to become an active donor.
There is one last hurdle before you can get paid to donate sperm as a regular donor — your vial of sperm has to survive the unfreezing process. Your first donation will be preserved in liquid nitrogen, and then unfrozen after 6 months. If enough of your swimmers survive this process, you’ll be tested again for infectious diseases and then you can donate to your heart’s content.
Most sperm banks will allow you to donate up to 3 times a week.
Is it safe?
Sperm donation is safe. The average male will make 120 million sperm every single day from puberty to death. An average ejaculation will release 200 million sperm, so a healthy man can replenish their supply very quickly.
How much money can you make?
There are published rates in 2022 showing that you can make $100 per donation. If you donate three times a week, you can therefore get paid up to $1200/month to donate sperm.
Where can I find out more?
So now you know how much you can get paid to donate sperm.
I don’t know if I would have gotten through the screening process, but this side gig option really would have come in handy during college. Since I don’t come from a wealthy family, I had very little spending money in college.
$14,400 a year is nothing to sneeze at, especially early on in your earning career. (It’s half the downpayment on a single family rental home, for example!)
So as a side gig option for healthy men, I’d rate sperm donation a viable option (if you can pass the screening process).
–The Darwinian Doctor
Have any of my male readers out there considered sperm donation as a side gig? Fess up in the comments below!
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