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College students give most sperm
Updated: 2004-09-22 10:54

University students have become Shanghai's biggest group of sperm donors after health authorities increased education efforts. This group accounts for 60 to 70 percent of donors, officials said.

Shanghai sperm Bank, the city's only such facility, gave lectures at five universities including Fudan and Tongji in the past two weeks. After the education campaign, more than 300 students have contacted the facility about sperm donation.

"We received more than 60 calls from potential donors today. Many are university students," Li Zheng, director of Shanghai Sperm Bank, said yesterday.

Before the sperm bank visited the universities, it only had five or six donors per month. Now, the sperm bank has 20 to 30 donors a month.

One sperm donor said he is comfortable with the idea.

"We can donate blood and stem cells, why not sperm," said a university student identified as Zhang. "I am happy if my donation can help one family."

Medical experts said their lectures were not only to attract more donors, but also to provide sex education.

Li said the lectures were popular with students."They asked many questions concerning safe sex and contraceptive methods," he added.

The bank at Renji Hospital was approved by the Ministry of Health in March 2003. The ministry will announce whether the sperm bank will be able to offer the in vitro fertilization procedure in two months.

If it receives the IVF license, demand for sperm could rise. But the facility's present storage is limited. It only has samples from 140 donors. "We estimated that 400 donors can meet the demand," Li said.

There are 300 couples on the waiting list for sperm and IVF, he said. About 10 percent of couples at child-bearing age in the country, including Shanghai, are infertile.

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