Statistically, it is estimated that when a couple is having trouble conceiving, four out of 10 its because the man is not producing or delivering sperm. This is because some men produce very few, or no sperm at all. Or the sperm is abnormal.
This makes sperm donation one of the options for couples who are keen to have a baby. Also, those in same-sex marriages, for instance, lesbians, can seek a sperm donor for reproduction.
In the country, The Nairobi IVF Center is one of the few institutions that offer fertility treatment to women and men in childbearing age.
According to Prof. Koigi Kamau, the chairman of Kenya Fertility Society, college students are the most preferred sperm donors by fertility centres and couples or a woman looking to have a child. “One, they are young. This is an attractive trait because we encourage the donors to be 30 years and below,” said Prof Kamau.
Further, being in college or university gives the notion of intellectual ability or high Intelligence Quotient (IQ). It is known that for one to make it to the tertiary education level, they are smart book-wise. Further, staying in college requires one to be streetwise since a student comes in contact with many vices, both positive and negative, hence, streetwise.
“College students have appealing physiques. They are manly, that is they are tall or of medium height and are muscular,” Prof Kamau told BUSINESS TODAY.
The colour of the eye and the pigment of the skin are also taken into consideration by some couples or women seeking sperms.
Most college students take part in sperm donation because they need money.
In Kenya, sperm donors are paid between Ksh 10,000 and Ksh 14,000, while the facilities sell to recipients at Ksh 40,000 for intrauterine insemination and Ksh 400,000 for IVF (in vitro fertilization). “Many college students are unbothered on siring and raising children since they are still in their adventurous stage,” adds Prof Kamau.
However, those who seek to donate sperm for whatever reason should be ready to be screened for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and more, genetic and systematic diseases before giving a sample.
The donors go through counseling and should be prepared to provide written consent for the use of his sperm. If the donor is married or in a relationship, it is often a requirement for his partner to come to counseling as well.
One person can only donate three times. However, to reduce the chances of accidental incest, one cannot donate sperms more than three times and sperm is often disposed of after about 10 years in the sperm bank.
Currently, there is no law on sperm donation though there is a bill in Parliament. The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, which seeks to regulate the use of reproductive technology, states that a person who has attained the age of 18 may get information whether he or she was conceived by means of assisted reproduction. The donor offspring also has the right to know if the person he or she proposes to marry could be a relative.
The bill, however, does now allow for the release of information regarding the identity of a person whose gametes (sperm or egg) have been used or from whom an embryo has been taken if the donation was anonymous.