There is an increase demand for sperm donors across the nation. UNSPLASH
There is an increase demand for sperm donors across the nation. UNSPLASH

Increased demand for sperm donors

By Thandile Konco Time of article published Nov 10, 2021

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Cape Town - Due to various social and environmental factors, fertility clinics have noted an increased occurrence of infertility in the general population resulting in an increased demand for sperm donors.

Laboratory director at Aevitas Fertility Clinic Greg Tinney-Crook said that due to the increased prevalence of infertility in South Africa, the need for donor sperm has increased as well.

“The causes of infertility are attributed 50% of the time to females and 50% to males. Often there are contributing factors from both partners. I think that people might still think that it is odd to be a sperm donor and there might be a stigma attached. However, as fertility issues become more common and sperm donors are lauded as heroes in their own right, sperm donation will become more accepted.”

The bank, which has been in existence since 2010, strives to recruit the best quality sperm donors possible by following both national and international guidelines when selecting donors.

Tinney-Crook added that the bank has recently begun advertising more widely on social media in an effort to combat misconceptions about sperm donation. All information that is published will help educate people to know why sperm donation is necessary, who qualifies to be a donor and what the process entails.

“Being a sperm donor is truly one of the most selfless things that a man can do. He is assisting people in realising their dream of becoming parents. Donor sperm is used by patients from all walks of life, race groups and ethnicities. Donor sperm is utilised by couples and single people of all sexual orientations.”

Tinney-Crook explained that at Aevitas Sperm Bank the basic criteria are that donors must be aged between 19 and 37, be non-smokers, reside in Cape Town and must have a degree or diploma, or at best be registered for one.

The procedure

Tinney-Crook said that the potential donor will come into the clinic and produce a semen sample for analysis. After the donor’s semen sample is checked and ensured it is of top quality he then completes an extended questionnaire anonymously which supplies the bank information about the donor and his family, including a history of any familial diseases.

Following the analysis, the potential donor will also have blood tests done to ensure that he does not have any infections. These tests are repeated a month after he finishes his donation cycle to ensure that all frozen samples are free from infection.

The donation period is approximately one month long depending on the samples’ volumes and the regularity of the donations. The donor normally is expected to donate twice a week until the bank has enough samples in storage. All donor semen samples are frozen and stored at the clinic before any distribution is done.

Once the entire donation process is completed the donor is compensated for his time and effort. In South Africa the identity of the donors at a sperm bank are kept confidential and donation is anonymous. Neither the donor nor the recipient’s identity is made known to either party.

Testimony

A sperm donor, whose identity has been withheld for anonymity purposes, said that he was proud of his service and contribution to society.

In an interview with the Weekend Argus, he said that he became familiar with sperm donation when it was suggested to him by a friend.

“It's a good way to make money, effortlessly, while enabling couples and singles with the opportunity of starting their own families.”

The man, who identifies as a gay and does not yet have any children, said that he was honoured to be able to assist others in being able to have children of their own. He added that he viewed the process as a mere transaction void of emotion.

A second sperm donor said that he went into sperm donation to aid his financial situation at the beginning of the pandemic and stated that it helped him stay afloat for a couple of months.

He said that the procedure is relatively easy and comfortable. He added that because he did not plan on having children of his own, he was glad to be able to contribute to the human population.

Both donors expressed that the feeling of being able to help people on their road to parenthood is refreshing and fulfilling.

Weekend Argus

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