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China calls on men to donate sperm

20 June 2016

By Sarah Gregory

Appeared in BioNews 856

The Chinese government is using social media to recruit sperm donors, according to a report in the New York Times.  

Men between the ages of 20 and 45 are reportedly being offered financial incentives and gifts such as iPhones to donate to sperm banks throughout the country because of a current shortage of donors.

The Chinese government fears a severe shortage of donations in the future, and state-run media is asking prospective volunteers to 'show their compassion' and 'help mitigate the country's ageing problem'.

'Donating sperm and donating blood are the same thing,' said one Beijing sperm bank, as reported in the New York Times. 'It's all about giving back to society.'

A Chinese study in 2011 found that almost half of volunteers were rejected, which has added to the shortage of donors. At the same time, demand has increased after China ended its 'one-child policy'.

Cash and social-media endorsements by popular computer game characters are being used as incentives to encourage men to donate. Last year, according to the South Morning China Post, two sperm banks - the Renji Hospital in Shanghai and another in Wuhan - offered iPhones to potential donors using the WeChat messaging service.

Potential donors were required to be men in their early 20s to mid-40s, at least 5 feet 4 inches tall, with no genetic disease and a university degree. Successful applicants were asked to donate at least 17ml of sperm over a six-month period. 

Chinese traditional medicine equates high levels of semen with vitality, which makes many young men reluctant to donate.


11 July 2016 - by Rachel Siden 
Donor-conceived children born to single women are equally well adjusted as those from two-parent donor-conceived families, according to a recent UK study examining the views of single mothers and children aged between four and nine years old...

14 March 2016 - by Ayala Ochert 
An IVF clinic in the UK has announced that it will offer sperm donors the chance to nominate a friend or family member for free IVF treatment....
11 January 2016 - by Dr Rosie Gilchrist 
Britain's largest sperm bank has been turning away potential donors who have dyslexia...
10 August 2015 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
The ban on single women freezing their eggs in China has been heavily criticised on social media after a Chinese actress revealed that she had travelled to the USA in 2013 to have her eggs cryopreserved...
27 July 2015 - by Arit Udoh 
Alibaba, the China-based e-commerce firm, has offered its male users up to £525 in exchange for their sperm...
11 November 2013 - by Dr Rachel Brown 
High levels of air pollution are to blame for a distinct drop in semen quality in Shanghai, according to the doctor who runs the city's main sperm bank...

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