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Critically Speaking

May 29, 2019

Not only have human sperm counts have been falling for several decades, but the trend is even seen in health college age men.  How are these changes detected?  It starts with the sperm bank and the analysis of donor semen.  How does sperm donation work?  What characteristics of semen are measured?  What does this trend mean for the need for Assisted Reproductive Technology or ART?  In this episode of Critically Speaking, Dr. Grace Centola, sperm bank director, tells it all. 


In this episode, Therese Markow and Grace Centola discuss:   

  • The process of becoming a sperm donor, donation frequency and donor compensation.  
  • Donation contracts and the rights of donors and of the resulting offspring.  
  • A study demonstrating sperm count decline from 2003-2013, The study involved 489 23-24 year old men, and 425 semen samples.  


Key Takeaways:   

  • Qualifying to become a sperm donor is more exhaustive than ever: It includes an inclusive questionnaire, physical evaluation, sample analysis, genetic testing and in-person interview.  
  • Donations are not only for in vitro fertilization but also for artificial insemination.  
  • There was a significant decrease in semen quality over the 10-year study period.    
  • All indications are that this decrease will continue in the future, impacting the need for assisted reproductive technologies. 


 "This decrease is continuing over time, and is contributing to the increase in infertility" —  Grace Centola  


Connect with Grace Centola:  

Here is a service for younger men who want to bank their own sperm for later use. 


Connect with Therese:   


Twitter: @CritiSpeak