Monday, May 16, 2011

Sperm Donation and Consanguineous Sex

Prompted by the recent screening of a documentary, there’s this article on sperm donation and the possibilities of resulting consanguineous sex.

There are no regulations that limit the number of times a man can donate sperm, nor the number of times his sperm is used, according to Dr. Peter Schlegel, chairman of urology and professor of reproductive medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. Making as many as four donations per week is "an acceptable practice from a medical standpoint," he says, but adds that based on population studies, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine now recommends that the number of children from an individual donor in a geographical area not exceed 10. "This limits the risk of a brother and sister meeting and marrying" without realizing they are related, Schlegel says.

Many people struggle with Genetic Sexual Attraction as a result of meeting (or being re-introduced to) a close biological relative or relatives after puberty, especially if one or more of them are married or otherwise have vows or lives with others that would make getting involved with each other problematic. Others are free, meet, fall in love, and could live full, happy lives together if they weren’t being harassed by bigots or threated with hateful laws.

There have been surprise meetings of siblings that sparked fears of accidental incest: In South Australia, one man's sperm was reportedly used to produce 29 children, most of whom came to live in the city of Adelaide (population 1.2 million). With more than 1 million children of donors alive today, a documented case of accidental incest would seem to be inevitable, Schlegel says.

But what about the genetics?

Donor sperm is frequently screened for common genetic mutations that can cause serious diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis, Schlegel says. However, not all genetic disorders can be screened for, and there have been case reports in the medical literature of clusters of patients with rare blood disorders and kidney abnormalities that were traced back to a handful of prodigious donors.

Something that occurs to me is that the better the genetic screening gets, the more genetic advantage may develop when children of donors get together, close relatives or not, because they won’t be carrying the risky genes.
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1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'd never thought about that. Good thing I'm not in charge of a sperm bank haha.


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