Author: London Sperm Bank
As I prepare to conclude my participation in the programme, I thrust my mind back to the outset and the reasons I joined. These thoughts summarise why I have to profess my pride in having run the course and hopefully helped some very willing and able parents to have a child/children of their own. The benefits brought to many thousands of caring parents who require fertility treatment must make the LSB’s programme both incredibly worthwhile and, in my own experience, very personally beneficial in finding out more about the people we are and the great gifts we possess.
Dear friends of my mother have recently had their first child, a beautiful daughter; counted as a great blessing which they had for years feared would never arrive. They had exhausted a great deal of savings to attempt three cycles of fertility treatment. Having seen their disaffection – though maintained desire – it brought home to me how lucky many of us are; to have full virility. Quite saddening to me is the fact that many of us, either by choice, misfortune or orientation might never be in a position to have a child. Educated friends, increasingly, do not want to bring children into modern society; feeling a general dissuasion toward the world we live in. Some are incredibly fertile, but either has not the luck or the confidence to meet somebody. Others simply are not inclined towards children, towards traditional conception and so forth.
Personally, having a very faithful; thence fatalistic background, I had to search my conscience to find comfort in engaging in the programme. Aspects of my religious upbringing make the process quite uncomfortable and therefore what I have done for the good of others does not conform to what I would say are the rubrics of my ethics. Or, should I say, what were my ethics. Fortunately for me, I have benefited from different educative schools, and I took a utilitarian viewpoint when weighing-up the decision to donate. I would describe myself as a straight, reasonably-conservative and old-fashioned, young man with traditional views on bringing children into the world: mother and father, 2.4 children, nice family home. What I had to do; or more-so, decided to do – was to look at the situation objectively.
The modern world allows us all to thoroughly enjoy our differences; in ethnicity, creed, culture and many other areas. There are no longer the outmoded restrictions and discriminations regarding sexuality, gender, colour, physical ability and such. So my mindset of the typical family is rather narrow; though I am proud of who I am – there are many other people who are incredibly capable of bringing up children. For instance, I have two girl-friends and two male friends who are enjoying same-sex relationships, are brilliant with children, hold steady jobs and own their properties. There can be no right, objectively, to say that they are any less able to raise children than a heterosexual couple. With a lot of young people in this country falling pregnant in adolescence, latching-on to Government-backed support to raise their children; it can be no less socially acceptable to help those who have the means to raise healthy and happy children. Rather than turn this into an anthropological or socio-demographic debate (or any other highfalutin’ terminology one might seek to use), I shall shut away my full rationale and personal soul-searching regarding donation. However, the crux of the matter is that the benefits to society as a whole must be seen to be good.
Having overcome my initial inhibitions, I have to say that I am greatly pleased with the decision to join the programme. In my earnest opinion, there must be hundreds of thousands of men, in London alone, who can painlessly (quite the opposite, rather) help innumerable potential parents. The people who utilise fertility treatments are both screened – rather scrutinised – and, more importantly, incredibly devoted to the notion of parenthood. In our modern day, where genuine affection and love for other people appears less and less evident; this behaviour should be greatly encouraged.
What grates at me a little is that the LSB programme is so logical. Most men, since puberty, have somehow engaged in masturbation, often by desire; more pressingly by necessity. This is a fact which is irrefutable and perhaps ought not to be such a cause of shame as it often is for the young, particularly. Irrespectively, the programme gives men an outlet for this, covers expenses and aids, other people. Therefore, this is the most enjoyable vocation any man is ever likely to find! As such, you could sum-up the programme as a way of – genuinely – doing a huge service for other people, while taking care of a natural process and, perhaps, earning a little cash for the fun of it.
My final point is the personal mental and health and fitness benefits that the programme brings. Going through the initial tests is a little bit of an ego boost. Ascertaining virility can give the confidence a lift. Then there are the tests; a little blood, some urine & a physical examination. At the end of this, there is room to appreciate the lack of illness, disease, infection.
The flipside of the tests is that it has decreased my desire to sleep-around; particularly to be far more careful in future. Those of us on the programme are very fortunate and gambling that away in a game of chance with a stranger no longer appeals greatly. Combining that with my aforementioned reasons of wanting to help those whom cannot have children, it really has given me an increased awareness not only of the great tool I have in my body; but also the genuine sanctity attached to raising children; and family love – irrespective of what the components are of that family.
This is not a deliberately persuasive piece for the LSB. I am not a sycophant, perhaps an idealist; more-so, a realist. There are many people affected by fertility problems: many people can help these people via a simple process which costs nothing yet gives an awful lot to the donor. Entered into for the right reasons, this is as rewarding to the donor as the recipient.