Canada warns not to buy 'fresh' semen online

August 30, 2011

Canada's health agency on Tuesday warned would-be parents not to purchase "fresh" semen online, saying it may be tainted with infectious diseases.

"Health Canada is reminding Canadians of the serious potential health risks of using donor semen for assisted conception obtained through potentially unreliable sources, such as the Internet," the government agency said.

Donor semen obtained through "questionable means," it explained, may not have been screened or tested, and therefore may not be safe.

Canada has strict controls for obtaining donor semen to minimize the potential risk of transmitting serious . The regulations require that donor semen must be quarantined for a minimum of six months, and donors must be screened and tested before the donation and six months after.

"Canadians should be cautious of websites advertising the availability of semen, such as 'fresh' semen that has not been processed and cryopreserved (frozen)," it said.

The sellers may claim that the semen donors were properly screened and tested. But "such claims may not be true," Health Canada warned.

The agency listed infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, or C, , , or that could be passed to both a mother and children born through the use of donor semen.

It also directed Canadians to a list of approved semen processors and importers on its website that are subject to regular inspections.

The agency's warning is the second issued in the past year in response to media reports of online advertisements directed at Canadians seeking to become parents through assisted conception.

Health Canada spokesman Gary Holub told AFP "no actual case (of infection) prompted the warning." "We're just being diligent."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.