Dear Dr. G,

I often look forward to Sunday, reading your articles on sexual health matters. You seem to be able to convey the taboo subjects of sexual health, with your unique style effectively. I think that is your gift!

My name is Mike and I am twenty-eight years old. I think I have a gift of virility. On the sexual side of things, I think I am overtly fertile. My wife and I have three beautiful children! And all the pregnancies occurred immediately after I stopped using condoms.

Of course, I am thankful for my good fortunate. I am also mindful of the fact there are childless couples in the world, perhaps due to the male factor of infertility.

As my wife often encourages me to find out more about sperm donations, in the spirit of Christmas, I would like to ask you about sperm donations.

What sort of individual donates their sperms? How is sperm donation carried out? What sort of screening will be done prior to the donations?

Do you get paid for the effort? If so, how much is one paid and how often can one person donate? Can this be done regularly?

Finally, is there any danger in repeated sperm donations?

On that note, I look forward to your column and wish you a Joyous Christmas!

Virile Mike

The word virility is derived from Latin “Virilitan” referring to the wide range of masculine characteristics including vigor, strength and sturdiness. In many aspects, it also reflects the constitutional ability of a man to father children, as virility in men is in the same sense equated to fertility in women. In Greek ancient texts, virile means a “nubile” young woman that is marriageable or ripe for a virile husband. Historically, such attributes are portrayed by bearded growth and muscular strength!

In the modern context, the sense of male-dominant virility for the purpose of procreation may seem irrelevant, as science has effectively bypassed the necessity of sex to create the next generation. The application of Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) effectively engineers the fusion of a sperm and an egg for the creation of mankind. The romantic notion of a bearded muscular virile man impregnating the fertile nubile woman, leaving the serendipity of nature to create a child by chance, may be considered a luxury rather than necessity.

We have come to an era where the measure of a man’s virility no longer conjures up the images of sturdiness and vigor, but simply by the outcum of numbers churned out by the computers, after the man leave his “sexual byproduct” at the fertility clinic. With that in mind, the technology has also effectively allowed such virility to be preserved in the sperm banks, for his benefit or even less fortunate others!

A sperm bank is a facility or enterprise collecting and storing human gametes, providing the “third party reproduction” for childless couples, single women or even lesbian couples. From the medical perspective, pregnancy derived from such artificial insemination is no different from the sexual intercourse. In most countries, regulators such as HFEA (Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority) impose strict rules on the establishment to ensure safety of the public.

Sperm banks typically recruit potential donors through colleges and advertisements. A donor must be healthy, normally aged 18 to 40, and willing to undergo frequent and vigorous testing. Most men who donate their semen do so with the passion and intention to help childless individuals, without the legal responsibility of the child. Although, allowance is compensated to donors in many countries, the financial incentive is hardly the drive for donation, as stringent screening for sexually transmitted infections; genetic diseases and chromosomal abnormality may be a deterrent. I guess to some individuals, such assessment may be perceived as incentives, but I am sure there are easier ways of getting medical check-ups.

There is no real physical risks of repeated sperm donation, as there is no real difference in the recurrent acts of “wasting” of the semen in the comfort of your bedroom or “saving” the samples in the masturbatorium (Hey, it’s a real word! I did not make this up). In certain jurisdictions, there is a limitation of the number of inseminations permissible from one single donor.

Pindar, the ancient Greek Lyric Poet from Thebes once said: “Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection!” During the warmth of the festivity of Christmas, we often get to witness acts of kindness among mankind. Although the consideration of giving one’s virility, as a form of gift to the less fortunate, may not be conventional Christmas spirit, in reality this is also an act of kindness, if the intention is genuine. Therefore, Dr. G’s advice to Virile Mike is simply: “Every virility is God’s gift, even though it be small, can destined for greatness, if it is given with good intention!” On that note, I wish Mike a Virile Christmas and Happy Banking 2018!

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