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Semen Banking
Feb 2014
Dr Nandita Palshetkar
Gynaecologist & Infertility Specialist Mumbai

‘Ye kaam legal hai...aaj se nahi Mahabharat ke time se’ (This work is legal, not from today but from the days of Mahabharat), says Dr Chaddha (Anu Kapoor) talking about the practice of donating sperms, in the Bollywood comedy-drama movie Vicky Donor. Though it existed from a long time, sperm donating has picked up in India recently. Let’s see what all goes into donating and storing.
Why semen banking?
Decreased fertility or a struggle with sterility may hamper the process of conception.
Semen banking or cryobanking, more commonly known as sperm banking, is a facility that offers solutions to problems related to male infertility. Also, it removes the limitation of conception from lesbian relationships and enables single women to conceive.
Sperm from eligible donors are collected and stored in sperm banks. Women facing infertility issues can then use these sperms to achieve pregnancy through artificial insemination.

Screening Of Donors
The donor undergoes a comprehensive screening procedure, which determines the usage of the sperm samples. Donors are thoroughly screened and tested for a range of disorders and diseases like HIV, various genetic, chromosomal abnormalities and sexually transmitted diseases like Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C. Donors are also required to share their family medical records and register their blood group.
The semen samples are carefully labelled and coded to ensure accurate identification and confidentiality of the donor. They also go through a quarantine period in which the donors are re-tested post six months of their donation to ensure no new infections were contracted during the donation period. Only when the results stand negative, are the samples used for treatments.
Semen banking is most commonly beneficial for donor sperm. The donors’ personal information, educational background and complete family history are recorded with the semen bank.