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VietNamNews

Illegal sperm market may threaten health of babies

Update: January, 06/2016 - 08:42
Sperm preservation at a hospital in HCM City. An illegal sperm-selling "market" was discovered near HCM City's Tu Du Hospital, a leading facility in the country that specialises in treating infertility and other reproductive problems. — Photo vnexpress.net

HCM CITY (VNS) — An illegal sperm-selling "market" was discovered near HCM City's Tu Du Hospital, a leading facility in the country that specialises in treating infertility and other reproductive problems.

Dr. Mai Ba Tien Dung, of HCM City's Binh Dan Hospital, told Viet Nam Television's VTV9 Channel that purchasing sperm through illegal channels could create a dangerous situation in which biological siblings remain unknown to each other.

That could potentially lead to inbreeding, thus increasing the risk of birth defects among the population, he said.

Dung also said the method of injecting sperm into the womb is dangerous, potentially causing anaphylaxis and leading to unconsciousness or even death.

Dozens of illegal sperm-selling rings were discovered, according to the Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) online newspaper.

Buying and selling sperm is completely prohibited in Viet Nam under a Government decree that was passed in 2003.

In illegal markets, an infertile couple typically pays about VND15-18 million (US$680-800) to inject sperm into a woman's womb, according to a female sperm seller.

Men selling their sperm are generally strong, healthy men between the ages of 22 and 30.

A woman who desperately wants to conceive is given the option of injecting the sperm into her womb or having sex with the sperm seller.

Sperm sellers offer to refund the woman double the amount she paid if she does not become pregnant within 15 days.

However, a senior resident who lives in an alley of Cong Quynh Street near the market said that affrays were common between infertile couples and sperm sellers because the women did not receive compensation after they failed to become pregnant.

Lawyer Nguyen Anh Minh, of HCM City's Bar Association, said that having sex with sperm sellers was not only illegal, but it was also considered prostitution.

It could lead to catastrophic results for both the buyer and seller, such as disputes over inheritance in the future, he said.

A survey from the Ministry of Health in 2014 revealed that Viet Nam has about 1 million infertile couples.

The two biggest hospitals that specialise in treating infertile couples in the country only meet about 15 per cent of the total demand. — VNS

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