Latvian sperm bank to be put to use for first time

  • 2000-05-11
RIGA (LETA) - As of April 18, artificial insemination became available at the EGV Clinic at the recently established Latvian sperm bank for the first time, said clinic physician Gunars Ubelis.

Ubelis said the clinic has recently received authorization and has started operations. The formation of the sperm bank in Latvia began six months ago when the first semen was donated.

Up to now, semen has been imported from Estonia for artificial insemination.

There has been high demand for a sperm bank in Latvia, and there are at least 10 persons already in line at the clinic.

Initially, almost 10 donors were supplying the bank with semen. However, in the past six months, half of them have dropped out and now there are five regular donors.

Ubelis noted that in principle, semen donors are not paid either in Latvia or anywhere else in the world. But to boost the activity of donors, they are offered compensation on some occasions. The doctor declined to elaborate on what the compensation is.

One of the basic reasons for the establishment of the bank was the poor reproductive health of Latvia's males, Ubelis noted.

According to Ubelis, on average, tests show only one male out of 42 with good reproductive health. Men who represent small or medium-sized business, or are employed in the education system, show poorer reproductive results.

The basic factors affecting a male's reproductive health are stress and nicotine, as well as an unhealthy diet, including foods that contain preservatives.