Ghana’s number one fertility hospital Pro Vita has set up a sperm bank, which accepts donors.
The Sperm Bank also makes it possible for spouses whose partners live abroad to make babies through unconventional means.
Dr. Joe Mainoo who heads the IVF specialist hospital says the sperm banking is an integral part of Invitro- Fertilization fertility treatment. He spoke to JoyNews’ Matilda Asante.
Matilda: Doc, what do you need to start a sperm bank?
Dr Mainoo: You need first, the gadgets, machines and the machine is a simple mechanism, we use liquid nitrogen to freeze the sperms and we are able to keep the sperms for about 19 years.
We use it mainly for couples whose husbands are not able to produce their own sperms or couples whose husbands are living in the US or UK and the husband do not have a green card and therefore cannot travel out.
So they collect the sperm there, freeze it, send it in a freezing compartment to us.
We also collect and keep the sperms in a freezing compartment here and the wife travels down here to go through the vitro fertilization with her husband?s sperms that has been frozen or we use it for couples whose sperms are low.
Matilda: What is the accepted sperm count to impregnate a woman?
Dr Mainoo: The World Health Organisation?s grading is 20 million per millimeter, the minimum a man must have to impregnate the wife.
Tilly: Do you have any people who donate sperms?
Dr Mainoo: Yes and No, we prefer that they are brought by the donors and when our reserve is going down we announce it.
Tilly: How do you do that?
Dr Mainoo: We do it locally here.
We explain to the public that people who want children but are do not have the required sperm count because of infected testicles. If you are prepared to help them come and donate.
Tilly: Is this done by word of mouth or by radio?
Dr Mainoo: Mostly through word of mouth because if you do it by radio, it will be very complicated.
Most men will think that when I?m going to Provita Hospital it means I?m going to donate my sperms.
Our society is different. It is not been well accepted, it will come with education.
Tilly: I have watched movies where in sperm banks, people go into little rooms they watch pornography photos and they ejaculate and they sell them off. How does it work here?
Dr Mainoo: There is a hotel very close to this place, we prefer that people go there with their couples even when they are coming for the vitro fertilization.
They have to donate a sperm and the best way to collect the sperms is through sexual intercourse, its better than masturbation.
Even though the IVF is a medical procedure and artificial procedure, I have always suggested that we must get as close as possible to the natural.
Tilly: How much will a donor get paid once they give out their sperms?
Dr Mainoo: We give them between ¢200,000 and ¢300,000.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Ghanaweb on 25th June, 2005 under the headline ‘Ghana gets first sperm bank’. It has been republished on this website for educational purposes. Kasatintin.com does not any way own the right to this publication.