Sperm donation may be frowned upon but done in the right way it can help may people who cannot father a child themselves.
Such sperms are used during IVF.
Dr. Khandwala Shounak, IVF director at Mediheal Group of Hospitals, describes sperm donation as a process by which a healthy, young man voluntarily donates his sperms for the infertility clinic or sperm bank by natural ejaculation.
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“The man is initially tested for all infectious diseases and routine screening of seminal parameters.
The sperms are then used to inseminate the woman’s uterus after certain processing in the laboratory, and when the woman is expected to ovulate,” he said.
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Shounak says any healthy male individual who is married or not and who has normal monogram with no significant family or genetic history, can donate sperms.
“Most donors are in the age group of 24-45 years,” he said.
Seminogram is a semen analysis that evaluates certain characteristics of a man’s semen and the sperm contained therein.
It is done to help evaluate male fertility for those seeking pregnancy or verify the success of vasectomy.
The doctor says a man can donate as many times as possible.
“But to prevent genetic pooling, maybe eight to 10 times in one’s lifetime, in different laboratories or sperm banks,” he said.
Those looking for donors can ask for specific physical features, qualifications, and medical history.
“Physical features include height, body form, skin color, and age, whereas qualifications include education levels and profession.
The donor also needs to have proven fertility,” Shounak said.
The doctor said those who are looking for donors pay anywhere between Sh15,000 to Sh100,000 for the sperms.
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There is currently no law in Kenya that regulates assisted reproduction, which has been happening without clear-cut guidelines and rules.
Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo tabled a bill in Parliament that addresses issues surrounding sperm and ova donation to childless couples.
The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, if approved, will make surrogacy for women under 25 illegal. It also prohibits obtaining sperm or ova from minors under the age of 18.
“A child born out of assisted reproductive technology under this Act shall have the same legal rights under the Constitution or any other written law as that of a child born through sexual intercourse,” it adds.