By Chioma Umeha
As infertility rates increase, more and more couples are using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including artificial insemination and IVF, to reach their dreams of parenthood.
The increased demand for these procedures has resulted in an increase in sperm banking.A sperm bank, also referred to as a cyrobank, is a facility that collects, freezes, and stores human sperm.
The sperm kept at a sperm bank is either donated by men to be used by couples seeking sperm donations for artificial insemination or IVF procedures, or is provided by men who want to preserve their own sperm for future use.
Why do men choose to bank their sperm for future use?
Male fertility can be compromised by a variety of factors and life events. Sperm banking offers men an insurance policy in the event that their fertility is diminished at the time in their life that they are ready to father a child.
Age is key contributing factor to declining sperm count and sperm quality. As a result, some men choose to bank sperm while they are young to ensure they have healthy sperm down the road.
Certain cancers and cancer treatments jeopardize sperm quality and fertility, so men facing these health conditions may choose to bank sperm before undergoing surgery or beginning chemotherapy and radiation.
Sperm banking is also helpful for couples who are trying to get pregnant via assisted reproductive technologies, and the man travels extensively or is deployed in the military. Banking sperm ensures that there will be sperm available when it is time to do the procedure.
Finally, some men who are choosing to have a vasectomy, a surgical procedure that involves cutting the tubes that carry sperm during ejaculation, desire to bank sperm in case they wish to have additional children following the vasectomy.
Why do men donate sperm?
Donated sperm is in high demand. As a result, men can earn money by donating sperm, which is then sold to infertile couples undergoing ART.
While sperm banks have different qualifications and requirements, becoming a sperm donor typically requires health screenings and tests, all of which are performed by the sperm bank facility at no cost to the potential donor.