11 June 2012
Donations Pour In As Infertility Rises
Ahmedabad: Not all sperm donors are looking to make a quick buck. A growing brigade of new-age Vicky donors – rich businessmen, NRIs and techies – are willing to donate free so that they can bring a smile on the faces of childless couples.
Male infertility, which used to have a 20 per cent share in childlessness in couples till a decade ago, has now jumped to 40 per cent. In fact, sperm count is going down to alarming levels, prompting World Health Organization (WHO) to change the parameters of normal sperm count. Doctors say that according to WHO guidelines, 60 million
sperms per ml was the normal level which was changed to 20 million per ml in the 1990s.
Such poverty is leading to philanthropy. A UKbased youth recently wrote to Dr Kanthi Bansal, a fertility specialist who helped deliver Ahmedabad’s first test–tube baby, wanting to donate sperm without any charge. "My mother is English while my father is Indian," wrote the 26–year–old. "I am fairskinned. I wish to donate sperm for philanthropic reasons." Bansal says she has been approached by three businessmen friends. "They want to help childless couples without any monetarytions," she says. Another
youth, a post-graduate student, says he was moved after watching a recent movie dealing with sperm donation. "I have approached a sperm bank offering to donate gratis to help a childless man become a father. I need no money, just blessings," he said.
"While a majority of youngsters are selling their sperm, between 5 and 10 per cent want to donate it," says Dr Himanshu Bavishi. "Sperm donation has started generating the kind of goodwill which blood donation enjoys."
Fertility specialist Dr Naina Patel, who has received a flood of emails from wannabe donors, says that sperm philanthropy however is not simple. "It is more than just giving a sperm sample," she said.
"Men have to be ready to undergo a battery of tests over a period of time to ensure they are free of HIV and other communicable diseases," say another fertility expert Dr Manish Banker.