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Attention! Donors!

In the recent years, normal values for semen have been redefined a few times. This has been done not because they chose to or because they wanted to flatter men but because it cannot be that only 5% of men of fertile age should conform to the norm…

The situation with the quality of sex cells is equally lamentable for both genders. There is indeed certain dependency on the region of residence, social status, life style and even on one’s financial standing. The tendency is nevertheless clear. Even though the fertility assessment of couples seeking medical advice as regards infertility treatment may not reflect the situation clearly enough, a sampling of healthy men and women is more representative. This concerns sperm and oocyte donors. Potentially, these are healthy people who have children and who have nothing to complain about as far as their health is concerned. I.e. this is a population where the quality of sex cells must be above average. Far from it. At our department, we are weekly visited by 5-6 men on the average who want to become sperm donors. One can only be allowed to be a donor after a spermogram. After the assessment of sperm, embryologists give their verdict as to whether a candidate is eligible to become a donor or not. Per month, only 3-4 men are given the permission to undergo further examinations. I.e. out of 20 candidates, less than 20% will be considered healthy. The situation with oocyte donors is slightly better, but in the recent years a tendency has also emerged to administer higher doses of gonadotropins in ovulation stimulation than we used to only some five years ago. This is because a response to stimulation in patients has become worse, and the quality of the obtained cells leaves much to be desired.

This is why, as far as the problem of fertility preservation is concerned, some very simple things, although being extremely difficult to abide by in the frenzy of our everyday life, start coming to the fore: the work-rest ratio, a healthy diet, moderate drinking, adequate levels of physical activity et cetera. And if we learn to start our day by lining up for morning exercises, eating fruit, drinking milk or something equally healthy instead of gulping down a cup of coffee, smoking a morning cigarette and receiving our morning dose of stress in traffic, we might well manage to slightly reverse this situation.