Sperm banks make information available about the donors whose sperm donations they hold in the sperm bank to enable customers to select the donor whose sperm they wish to use. This information is often available by way of an on-line catalog. A sperm bank will also usually have facilities to help customers to make their choice and they will be able to advise on the suitability of donors for individual donors and their partners.
If a woman intends to have more than one child, she may wish to have the additional child or children by the same sperm donor. Sperm banks will usually advise whether sufficient sperm donations are available from a particular donor for subsequent pregnancies, and they normally have facilities available so that the woman may purchase and store additional vials from that donor on payment of an appropriate fee. These will be stored until required for subsequent pregnancies or the surplus sperm donation may be sold.
Sperm donations may be supplied by the sperm bank directly to the recipient to enable a woman to perform her own artificial insemination which can be carried out using a needle-less syringe or a cervical cap conception device.
The increasing range of services which is available through sperm donation banks nevertheless enables more and more people to have choices over the whole issue of reproduction. Women may choose to use an anonymous sperm donor who will not be a part of family life, or they may choose known donors who may be contacted later in life by the donor children. Women may choose to use a surrogate to bear their children, using eggs provided by the woman and sperm from a donor. Sperm banks often provide services which enable a woman to have subsequent pregnancies by the same donor, but equally, women may choose to have children by a number of different donors. Sperm banks sometimes enable a woman to choose the sex of her child, enabling even greater control over the way families are planned. The option of choosing the sex of your child from sperm donors in the UK as well as a number of other countries is not an allowed procedure at this point in time.
Men may use a sperm bank to store their own sperm donation for future use particularly where they anticipate traveling to a war zone or having to undergo chemo which might damage the testes.