Sperm bank is a specialized organization, that collects and stores the sperms collected from human sperm donors for the provision to women who need such sperm to have a pregnancy. Sperm bank also known as cryobank or semen bank, and sperms donated in the bank are known as donor sperm, whereas the process of sperm insertion is known as artificial insemination. It is notable that the pregnancy achieved by using sperms in the sperm bank is similar to natural pregnancy, achieved by sexual intercourse.
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The major mechanism involved in the operation of sperm bank underlies the provision of sperms, donated by sperm donors, to the needy women, who, due to various reasons, such as, physiological problems, widow, age and others, are not able to achieve pregnancy. Sperm bank forms the formal contract with sperm donors, usually for the period of 6-24 months, during which he has to produce sperms and donate to the bank. Usually, monetary compensation will be offered to sperm donors. Although, a donor can donate his sperms for more than two years, but, due to laws and regulations of various countries and a potential threat of consanguinity, a contract is made for maximum two years only. A donor produces his sperms in a specialized room, called men’s production room. From this, the semen fluid is washed, in order to extract the sperms from other materials present in the semen. In case of frozen storage, a cryoprotectant semen extender is added in the sample. Usually, around 20 vials can be extracted from one sample of semen, collected from a sperm donor. These vials are stored in cryogenically preserved condition, in the liquid nitrogen (N2) tanks. Usually, sperms are stored for the period of around 6 months. However, it can be stored for a longer period of time.
The global market for sperm banks is expected to increase in steady manner in the forecast period, due to market growth propellers, such as, increased prevalence of women miscarriage, technological innovations in the sperm storage industry, and growing awareness towards this type of pregnancy. Increased miscarriage rate is one of the major drivers that fuels market growth. According to the study report published by HopeXchange, out of 4.4 million pregnancies carried every year in the U.S., around 1 million pregnancies result into miscarriage. Similarly, due to growing concerns towards such pregnancy that achieved without sexual intercourse is also an important market growth propeller. On the other hand, various governmental regulations, negative mindset towards sperm banks and donor, high cost associated with the operating of sperm bank and limited spread across the various regions of the world are some of the major hurdles in the market growth.
Major players operating in the market includes Cryos International Sperm Bank, FairFax Cryobank, Androcryos, New England Cryogenic Center, Inc. and others.
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The services offered by sperm bank includes provision of sperms, donors selection, guiding recipient for selection of donor, sex selection of baby, and sales of sperms. Although, sperm banks play a major role in the women who are not able to achieve pregnancy, due to some controversial issues, such as, use of sperms by lesbian couples and others, government healthcare bodies of various countries imposed strict regulations on the sperm bank. In the U.S., sperm banks are regulated by FDA, and treated as Human Cell or Human Tissue or Human Cell and Tissue (HCT/Ps), in the European Union, it is been regulated by EU Tissue Directive, whereas, in the U.K., it is regulated by Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority.
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