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Sperm donation not lucrative in Nigeria – Stakeholders

A cross section of men in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have said that sperm donation business in the country is not lucrative.

Speaking in separate interviews on Monday in Abuja, they said that the business was less profitable in Nigeria, when compared to other countries.

Sperm donation offers a tidy solution to an aggravating problem.

When a person or a couple wants a baby and needs a different ingredient than what they have to make one, a man with viable sperm swoops in to help.

The process is viewed as a seamless way to create a family.

Mr Kalu Ekene, a lawyer, said that the procedure of donating a sperm is stressful, and when compared with the money, it is a waste of time.

“The procedure is ridiculous. I was told I will be paid N150,000 for each donation, but this will be after I have successfully fulfilled all medical requirement.

“I must and undergo medical examination and test negative to HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, sickle cell and some other sexually transmitted diseases.

“The money for the test and check up was more than what I will be paid, I found it being time wasted. Sperm bankers in Nigeria, should work on the payment,” Ekene said.

Mr Patrick Akpan, a Civil Servant, said after passing all the requirement he was asked to remain anonymous.

“There has been a growing recognition of children’s rights to know their genetic parents and recently a trend toward donor willingness to be identified.

“If I am going to receive that amount of money, I should be able to know who I am giving my sperm too. What if it is the only child I will be giving away? It is not worth the unknown problems in the future,” Akpan said.

He said that even anonymous donors were increasingly being identified by curious children as genetic testing becomes cheaper and more common.

“So, I will advise every man to think this through before becoming a sperm donor in the country because there are no laws backing this procedures up,“ he said.

Mr Yakubu Tobias, a mechanic, said he was disqualified from donating his eggs because most sperm banks were not interested in donors who were not at least five feet, nine inches tall.

“The first day I showed interest, my every physical feature was scrutinised, and I was asked to provide a childhood photo.

“I was asked to write an essay, or do a taped interview, to be shared with potential buyers, but at the end my height disqualified me.

“I do not see anything wrong with the pay, if I was able to donate like three times, that is cool money for me. It is better than going to ask my people for money or stealing,” he said.

Dr Isaac Shamaki, a Gynaecologist, said that the procedure of sperm donation was safe and effective.

Shamaki however explained that the most common reason why some men cannot donate sperm was old age.

According  to him, male fertility lasts a lot longer than female fertility, adding that there is still an age limit for sperm donation in Nigeria, which is 39.

“Sperm quality does decline with age, and we have to ensure we only offer the best sperm for the highest chances of pregnancy for those who use it to conceive,” he said.

Mr Dapo Adeniran, an Abuja based Psychologist, said that as simple as sperm donation can seem to be, some people find it stressful or isolating.

Adeniran said that this was because assisted reproductive technology was a relatively new, rapidly developing field.

“The social and emotional challenges that can arise between the participants in a sperm donation are, for many, uncharted,” he said.

The expert said that there were two well-established ways to go about the process of sperm donation:

“Prospective parents can use a sperm sample from a friend, acquaintance, or family member often called a ‘known’ or ‘directed’ donation, or arrange to use a usually heavily vetted stranger’s sample through a sperm bank or fertility clinic.

“Even decades after these practices have become common, many of those who opt for sperm donation are still consistently surprised by all the ways it can shape the family.

“In some cases it strains, and in others, it enhances family dynamics,” he said.

“When I counsel heterosexual couples who are weighing their options as they deal with infertility, I find the male partners more attached to these ideas of ownership than female partners.

“These men are often grappling with the questions, is this my child or someone else’s?

“That’s a tough struggle for a lot of men when I meet them,” he said

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