Interview with Cryos nurse: "You need to be dedicated as a donor"
Jeanett is one of the nurses at Cryos dedicated to following the applicants' journey to becoming a sperm donor. All the way from their initial sperm donor application to tests, clinical examination and in the end, hopefully, an approved donor at Cryos. Therefore, she knows the donors better than anyone else at Cryos.
We have asked Jeanett who the typical donor is, what the donors' motivations are, which thoughts and concerns they have before choosing to become a donor, and how she helps them during the process to become a donor.
Who are the sperm donors at Cryos?
The donors are very different from each other. We have 20-year-old university students and 40-year-old men who have their own children already. So there is a huge difference.
Occupation-wise, the donors can be everything from a sportsman to a hard-working IT specialist, an office employee or a guy who is having a break from work life while finding out what he really wants to do in life. However, I would say that many of our donors are university students between 20 and 30, who have not got their own kids yet. But it is still a great mix of all kinds of people.
What do you think is their motivation to donate?
Some people think that the donors’ only motivation is to make a little extra money. Of course, compensation is a part of it. But in fact, the people who make it all the way to the last clinical examination and approval are really aware of what we do at Cryos – help childless people.
Of course, some of the men who send an application, to begin with, are motivated by easy money. But they quickly find out that there is much more to it, and that you have to go through a lot to even be able to donate. Therefore, if you are only motivated by money, you will not make it. You need to be quite dedicated as a sperm donor.
It is my strong belief that the ones we examine and approve at the final clinical examination are very serious about it. They know what it is all about, which is to help people who cannot have a child without donor sperm. Afterwards, it is just an extra bonus to receive the compensation you get as a sperm donor.
Do the donors have any concerns before they start to donate?
Yes, there are many things to consider before choosing to become a sperm donor. When you want to become a sperm donor, you need to go through an extensive sperm donor screening, where we perform a lot of tests to assess the sperm quality and the applicants’ medical health. To some, this can be a huge thing. ‘What if I’m not good enough?’. And ‘what if I’m the carrier of a hereditary disease?’. But then we have a dialogue with them about how to use such potential knowledge in a constructive way in the future, and this usually makes them okay with it.
If you want to be a donor, you also need to gather a large amount of information about your background and family history. That can be quite troublesome to some, but when we tell them why all of this is necessary and why we need this knowledge, it makes sense to them. Then it is not that huge a problem.
The sperm donors who choose to be ID Release donors have made a lot of considerations about the fact that there potentially will be some donor children who will contact them in the future. It is a situation that you need to think through. Some also think about the fact that their own genes are passed on, and this can be a strange thought. But in the end, all our sperm donors are settled with the thought that they are here to help other people make their dream of a child come true.
Do you help the sperm donors with their decisions and potential concerns?
Yes, we do. For example, we always have a dialogue with the donors about their choice of being a Non-ID Release or an ID Release Donor. I ask them what considerations they have done and if they know what it entails. Some have already made their decision beforehand and some need to talk it over to make the right decision.
There are many things to consider as a sperm donor, and I am here as their direct contact. The donors can always call if they have any questions or concerns. It is very important to us that the donors feel safe and comfortable at Cryos.