America’s Hot Export? Semen — U.S. Atop The International Sperm Market


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Spermatozoon from the United States and Denmark overwhelm the seminal fluid market because those countries currently have the bulk of supply, experts say. 

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Sperm Market is ‘on fire’ right now in Denmark and the United States; Photo: Giphy

Appetite for U.S. sperm is on the rise.

Not just American however; Danish sperm is too utilized by women around the world.

The reasons are as diverse and unique as each country’s own ordinances and approach to bioethics and commercial.

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Photo by: TeluguOne

It’s vague whether their contention is serious or in kidding, but Denmark’s Cryos International and US-based California Cryobank each insist that their sperm repository is largest.

Scott Brown, director of client experience at California Cryobank, emphasized that the firm has a pool of about 600 donors and a track record of 75,000 live births worldwide since 1977.

“California Cryobank is definitely the largest in the United States, but worldwide, we absolutely crush them,” Corey Burke, the tissue bank director at Cryos in Denmark told newspapers.

“In Europe alone, we have close to 1,400 active and real donors; in the US around 200 donors,” Burke continued. “We sell to over 100 countries worldwide. We own Europe. If you want sperm in Europe, Cryos comes up, always.”

One cause Denmark and the U.S. are the heaviest sluggers in the global sperm market: Laws permitting anonymity for donors, noted Ayo Wahlberg, an anthropology professor at the University of Copenhagen.

“The repeal of anonymity in many parts of the western world totally changed the game” in the past 10 to 15 years, said Wahlberg. While majority of European countries don’t allow anonymity, Denmark still does. “As soon as [anti-anonymity] legislation kicks in, numbers plummet.”

There are additional factors that affect semen supply.

In the U.S., Denmark and China (which has a monumental sperm bank but doesn’t export), donors are compensated relatively comparable sums (ranging from $30-$130 per sample). In the UK, Australia, Canada and numerous European Union countries, donors have to be “altruistic”: payment is prohibited. Childcare expenses and travel may be reimbursed.

Then, take into account the technology.

“Testing and screening in the US is far more advanced, and there is a lot of diversity in the population who are willing to be donors, and obviously a lot of people,” said Fredrik Andreasson, CFO of Seattle Sperm Bank. He explained Caucasian sperm is in high demand around the globe, including in India and China.

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Aaron Granger

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