Years ago, the TLC television show Extreme Cheapskates aired an episode where a man stated he was participating in a medical study that required him to donate one testicle and have it replaced with a prosthetic one. The payout: $35,000. Of course, viewers got excited at the potential opportunities to make that extra cash, but reports of the actual donation are vague.
Testicle donation, in theory, allows you to help someone, make money, and still live a productive life. But the question remains: can you even donate testicles for $35,000? If so, how?
Can You Donate a Testicle for Money?
First and foremost, paid donation for organs is illegal in most parts of the world. In addition, there has never been documented evidence of someone being paid to donate a testicle, and no doctor (many of whom have been interviewed) admits to doing so. To verify this information, we also called medical schools and research centers in larger cities to ask officials if such a study had ever been done. Again, the consensus was a resounding no. Testicles can’t even be transplanted, thus there would be little use in receiving them as donations.
The closest any study comes to involving testicle donations is The Testicular Cancer Resource Center, that is looking for participants for their studies who have either had testicular cancer themselves or who have more than one family member diagnosed with the disease. You can find out more about this study here, but keep in mind that not even this is a scenario where you could donate a testicle for money.
And.. in case you’re still wondering about the hype behind TLC’s “testicle donation” episode on Extreme Cheapskates, you can see this myth-busting article which contains many credible sources that disprove the claim of testicle donation.
What You Can Donate for Money
While you can’t donate a testicle for cash, there are many things you can donate for money because they don’t quite count as body parts, i.e., they grow back. Here’s the list:
- Process: Though the actual procedure only takes about 20 minutes, the entire process can take a few weeks, and usually includes a series of fertility injections to assist the body in creating multiple eggs. The process can vary slightly depending on what medical center you go to, but in general, you’ll attend a consultation in which everything will be broken down into steps and all risks outlined, come back for a few injections over the course of a few weeks, and then have the eggs harvested. You’ll need to take a day off to recover (nothing strenuous, but soreness and slight discomfort are expected), and you may have mild side effects for up to two weeks afterward.
- Payment: $5,000-$15,000.
- Requirements: Yes. You must in good health and generally between the ages of 21 to 30. These ages vary slightly depending on the donor agency you use.
- Side effects: No long-term risks yet discovered.
- Where to donate: There are a plethora of centers that offer to pay women for their eggs, and not all of them are reputable. Make sure to ask for references and try to speak with some former donors before committing to the service.
Suggested Article: Where to Go and What You’ll Get Paid to Donate Eggs
- Process: It’s a simple as getting a haircut and mailing it off! No pain involved.
- Payment: $100-$4,000. This range depends on the buyer, how long your hair is, and other factors. Here is a calculator that tells you the general price you’ll receive for your hair.
- Requirements: For starters, your hair has to be long enough to donate — if you’re a guy with short hair already, getting a trim won’t cut it for buyers. Donors may give more specific length requirements. Wig makers (who are usually doing the purchasing) prefer long, thick, unbleached/natural hair. Also, wig makers don’t buy hair from people who smoke cigarettes.
- Side effects: None. This is just like a regular haircut.
- Where to donate: Selling your hair online is actually a relatively simple process! Try BuyandSellHair.com to start.
- More information: Visit any of the multiple hair selling sites we’ve listed in this section.
- Process: Plasma is a component of human blood that contains nutrients, enzymes, antibodies, and proteins. Donating plasma is similar to donating blood — undergo a short medical screening then sit back, relax, and wait 1.5-2 hours while the blood is withdrawn from your arm. You can read books, watch movies, or play on your phone while you have the plasma drawn, and afterward, you’ll be given free snacks.
- Payment: $20-$50. Varies by donation center and body weight.
- Requirements: Be 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds (50kg), and pass a medical examination and possible testing for transmissible viruses. See the Donating Plasma’s FAQs for more information.
- Side effects: Your arm may be sore for a day or two, but it’s rare to experience more serious side effects.
- Where to donate: You can use this Plasma Donation Center locator to find a place to donate near you. However, make sure that the center provides compensation for the plasma because not all do.
Suggested Article: These Are the Places That Pay the Most for Plasma
- Process: You’ll have to provide a sample to the sperm bank of your choice to make sure that it’s viable. Once it’s approved you’ll simply go to the center four to eight times a month to donate the sperm.
- Payment: $20-200. Varies according to the sperm bank.
- Requirements: Sperm banks look for healthy, fit males to donate sperm. You generally must be 18-44 years old, have a clear medical history with no genetic illnesses, and not be adopted.
- Side effects: None.
- Where to donate
Other Medical Options for Making Money
If the idea of donating one of the above-listed body parts isn’t appealing to you, there are still other medical options you can pursue to make some extra money.
1. NASA’s Bed Rest Study
- Process: NASA will pay you to stay in bed for 70 days in order to better study the ways astronauts can deal with living in a low-gravity environment.
- Payment: $18,000 for a full 70-day study.
- Requirements: Since the study was created to give insights on how astronauts can cope with a low-gravity environment, participants must mimic the training of an astronaut. That means being in top shape, eating a certain way, and more.
- Side effects: The study states that there will be “musculoskeletal and psychological effects” from remaining inert for such a long period. After all, when NASA says that you’ll be staying in bed for 70 days, they really mean it — no trips out of bed to go outside or even go to the shower.
- Where to participate: Go to NASA’s official page to sign up for the study.
- More information on NASA’s bed rest study
2. Paid Medical Study
- Process: These studies vary greatly. You could do anything from testing out a new drug, to eating a specific diet, to sleeping a certain amount each week, and more.
- Payment: Varies greatly depending on how long the study is, the risks (if any), and other factors.
- Requirements: Vary, depending on the study. Some studies are only looking for females, others are looking specifically for people with a chipped tooth. Chances are, you’ll find something to qualify for.
- Side effects: These will vary. Be sure to check the fine print!
- Where to participate: To find out where clinical studies are being offered, you can browse studies on this website that the U.S. government runs. Checking your local research universities is also a very good idea: many of these places offer very simple psychological studies, such as getting paid $15 an hour to sleep.
- More information on paid medical study opportunities
We hate to break it to you but you can’t actually donate a testicle for money, contrary to what TV may have made you think. However, there are other body parts you can donate or medical tests you can undertake to make some extra money. We also have detailed articles on donating blood for money and earning $500 per month, donating sperm at $1,000 per month, how to sell blood marrow, and other ways to make $100+. So although you can’t donate a testicle, you still have options.