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The Truth About Sperm Banks: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

July 8, 2022

5 min read

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Author : United We Care
The Truth About Sperm Banks: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Introduction

The concept of sperm banks and cryopreservation of sperms is gaining rapid popularity in the fertility world. Sperm banks give couples who cannot conceive naturally, owing to male infertility, age, or ill-health, a chance to have children. 

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What is a sperm bank?

Sperm banks are centres specialising in collecting and storing sperm. The storage requires a cryopreservation process to ensure the sperm remains viable. The most common reason for using a sperm bank is male infertility. A couple can have trouble conceiving if a male partner does not produce sufficient and suitable sperm. In such a scenario, a sperm bank can come to the rescue. 
The stored sperms undergo a thawing process to ready them whenever needed. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or an in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure is required.
Srequiredanks can also store sperm for future use. Men battling health issues such as cancer often have to undergo harsh treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, impacting their sperm health—storing the sperm before the treatment gives them a chance to have children.
It could also benefit men in high-risk professions such as law enforcement and the military. In case of a mishap or accident, their partners can use the stored sperm for conception. 

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Experts

Relation between Sperm banks and racism

With more and more couples planning to conceive later in life after tending to their other commitments, the need for sperm banks is increasing. Sperm banks, having recognised this demand, now collect and store sperm from individuals with varied physical and cultural attributes. It allows a couple to choose the characteristics of their child. For example, couples can choose based on the donor’s height, I.Q., ethnic background, skin colour, etc.  
Couples may choose to have a baby of a different race, such as Asian or African-American. Most couples prefer babies with lighter skin tones, which has sparked a racism row. Parents must be mindful that growing up as a mixed-race child could be difficult in a conventional environment and subject them to unpleasant comments. However, selecting the donor based on a particular attribute does not guarantee the result. A mix and match of genetics can often spring a surprise.

Donating sperm hampers your love life.

Sperm donation is a tedious process. The sperm bank’s criteria for sperm donors are very stringent. A donor must undergo several tests and counselling before donating sperm to a sperm bank. It requires a certain level of commitment and can impact your love life.
A regular donor will undergo frequent screening for sexually transmitted diseases (S.T.D. s) if you are a regular donor. Also, you will have to use protection while engaging in sexual activities to reduce the risk of S.T.D. s. It could be a dampener for some and impact their love life.
The seminal fluid needs to have several sperms to get accepted as a donor. The donor should abstain from ejaculating at least 48 hours before the donation. So, although you can engage in intimacy, you should avoid ejaculating.
Having open communication with your partner is essential before becoming a sperm donor. The existence of children with your genes could be unsettling for the partner. It is therefore vital to undergo counselling before sperm donation.

Ten things you didn’t know about sperm banks

  1. Sperm banks select their donors after a detailed screening process to ensure the quality and safety of the sperm. Factors such as medical and genetic history, specific characteristics like intelligence and emotional quotient, and physical features like height and weight are all considered. 
  2. Although the most common means of obtaining the sample is masturbation, sperm banks may collect sperm through surgical procedures.
  3. Sperm specialists prepare the collected sperm by separating them from the seminal fluid. It ensures that only the healthy sperms with adequate count, mobility, and form are stored.
  4. Sperm banks store these samples using liquid nitrogen to maintain a temperature of -196 °C.
  5. This extreme cold storage allows the sperm to be stored indefinitely.
  6. The samples are stored in different tanks to avoid mishaps should any tank experience any failure.
  7. When the sperm sample is ready for use, it undergoes a thawing process to get it to room temperature.
  8. About half to one-third of the sperms remain following the freezing-thawing session.
  9. Sperm banks are expensive as they charge for the testing, collecting, freezing, persistent storage, and thawing.
  10. Sperm banks reimburse their donors financially and protect them via legal contracts. The donors are exempt from any responsibilities of the children conceived through their donation and have no right over them.

Conclusion

Sperm banks are a safe and convenient option for males with infertility issues wanting to have children. However, it comes at a cost. Choosing a reputed sperm bank that offers quality, safety assurance, and legal protection would be wise. Face any moral dilemma about sperm donation or think your infertility is hampering your marriage. You can get in touch with the trained mental health professionals at United We Care. We promise to listen to you and help you through your worries step by step.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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