If you’re a young man in China and have time on your hands, a Chinese sperm bank may have just the right summer program for you.
The Human Sperm Bank of Shanghai is inviting college students to join a competition to see who has the best semen, in order to promote reproductive health and recruit donors, who are offered up to $1,160 for replenishing the bank’s supply.
The summer contest, launched on July 12, will pick those who have the highest sperm count and motility as winners, although their names will not be released to the public, the sperm bank said in an ad posted on WeChat.
Studies have shown declining sperm counts among men globally, although scientists have continued to debate what is causing the decline and whether the trend indicates rising male infertility. Facing growing demand for fertility treatment, some sperm banks have sought to encourage donations by paying men more and campaigned to reduce the stigma of visiting a sperm bank. Participants who meet stringent requirements, including having a sperm concentration of greater than 60 million per milliliter of semen, will be invited to be a donor.
Donors need to visit the sperm bank several times within six months, and will receive up to $1,160 in compensation.
To drum up interest in donations and its fertility services, the sperm bank has been posting about the best sperm it receives every month. In June, for example, it recorded a highest sperm count of 282 million sperm per milliliter of semen—about 19 times the normal level. The unnamed donor was a sports fan, the sperm bank noted.
Another man, who was said to be fond of music, was found to have the lowest level of abnormal sperm of 42 percent. Typically, only about 4 to 10 percent of sperm in a sample are normal, meaning their shape looks perfect under a microscope.