Sperm Crisis in Israel?

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Photo: iStockphoto

Sperm banks in Israel are turning away donors at alarming rates, according to a "Column One" story in the Los Angeles Times today. Only one out of every 100 donors is up to snuff at “premium” sperm bank Cryobank Israel, down from one in ten a decade ago. And it’s not just the top-shelf spunk that’s in short supply. In 1991, middle-market sperm bank Hadassah turned away about a third of would-be donors for low quality. If it held sperm to the same standards today, it would have to reject more than 80 percent.

"It's a shame," Dr. Jacob Ronen, head of Cryobank, told the Times. "We see these macho, beautiful guys come to give donations, but then we're embarrassed to have to tell them that their sperm quality is so low they may actually end up coming back as a client."

The Times reports that an infertility cottage industry has popped up: freezing rejected donors’ sperm for when they face their own fertility troubles down the line.