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Clinic to offer sperm storage service
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-12 10:57

Shanghai Wenzhong Clinic will provide individual sperm sample storage by the end of this month.

The clinic said its main target is men aged between 20 and 25, a period when sperm quality is at its best, who don't want to have children yet due to careers or other considerations.

"When those men want to start a family in their 30s or 40s, their sperm will be in a poorer condition compared to when they were in their 20s. Many may be infertile due to stress, an unhealthy lifestyle or environment pollution," said Tang Xiaohui, a Wenzhong official.

"The service is just like insurance to provide another alternative when the sperm is not good," she added.

Officials said men should undergo medical checks more regularly and ensure that their sperm quality is normal.

The facility will store semen samples in liquid nitrogen. That can keep the sample in good condition for 50 years.

A health check at Wenzhong clinic costs 2,500 (US$301) to 3,000 yuan while the annual storage fee is 200 yuan.

Some medical experts disagree with the "fancy idea."

"Storing sperm has risks. About 20 to 30 percent of sperm will die in the process and the living sperm will also lose certain viability," said Li Zheng, director of Shanghai Sperm Bank. "Moreover, the success rate of in vitro fertilization is only 20 percent, which means the sperm samples may be useless after a few years."

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