After two-child policy, sperm banks struggle to collect enough donations

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-20 18:43:01

A doctor refrigerates donated sperm at the Human Sperm Bank of Shanxi Province, on February 25. Photo: IC

Even though China now allows all couples to have two children, infertility is a big hurdle for many looking to expand their family.

According to the China Population Association, more than 40 million people of child-bearing age suffer from infertility, accounting for about 12.5 percent of all people of reproductive age.

Sperm banks are one solution, however, due to the high demand, these institutions are also facing a storage shortage.

Ever since early 2014, the official Human Sperm Bank of North China's Shanxi Province has begun putting up advertisements in the region's commercial areas and the train station in the provincial capital Taiyuan to recruit sperm donors. In 2015, the sperm bank opened a WeChat public account to seek donors, but applicants are still lacking.

Healthy men between 20 and 45 are qualified to make donations. However, only about 30 percent of donations finally make it into the sperm bank after going through the bank's rigorous assessment of sperm vitality and blood examinations.

Most sperm donors in China are college students. Before a donation is finally accepted into the sperm bank, donors have to contribute eight to 12 times for the selection procedure over the course of one or two months. Donors get several hundred yuan for each successful contribution. As a result, the economic returns for a regular donor may act as a kind of scholarship.

Unlike private, underground sperm donation facilities, official sperm banks put health and safety first, and nurses do not help donors while they donate despite such rumors online. However, there is a television that plays sensual videos to help with the donation.

Global Times

A man walks past a poster which aims to recruit sperm donors near the train station of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, on April 9, 2014. Photo: IC

Sensual movies and tissues are available in the donation room in Shanxi's sperm bank. Photo: Ic

Sampled sperm is assessed. Photo: IC

A doctor examines a sperm sample with a microscope. Photo: IC

Newspaper headline: Sperm silo

Posted in: In-Depth

blog comments powered by Disqus