Quebecers shop for sperm on social media

Quebecers risk turning to social media and websites to find a sperm donor, frustrated by the long delays and complexity of fertility services overseen by governments.

• Also read: Assisted reproduction: six months for the first public meeting

• Also read: Private fertility clinics ignore CAQ’s assisted-childhood program

Charlevoix resident Emilie Durand took steps with the health network to become a single mother in March 2022.

A 41-year-old woman is on a waiting list for fertility services at a clinic in Quebec. Almost a year without notice, he feels discouraged. “Destroyed, completely destroyed. So I’m looking for something else. It doesn’t make any sense,” he said. I.

Mrs. Durand therefore decided to turn to social networks to find a sperm donor. This is his last hope to realize his dream of starting a family.

Lots of risks

A report on his case, airing tonight on TVA at 9:30 p.m., lifts the curtain on this parallel universe of Internet sperm donation and the risks it can involve.

Public and private reproduction centers offer a better framework.

Screenshot of JE

Public and private reproduction centers offer a better framework.

Dr. McGill University Health Center (MUHC) Reproduction Center. William Buckett says there are many health risks when a woman uses donor sperm from a stranger without going through the health network.

Here at the MUHC's in vitro fertilization lab, a specialist uses an inverted microscope to select the best sperm and inject it into the egg.

Screenshot of JE

Here at the MUHC’s in vitro fertilization lab, a specialist uses an inverted microscope to select the best sperm and inject it into the egg.

“We don’t know [l’état] physical and mental health, all risks of infection, diseases, etc. “, describes.

Finding men who are ready to donate their sperm is done in a few minutes on Facebook or specialized forums. team I after contacting the donors, he was able to easily collect a sample in a simple plastic container. Some are not tested for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI).

A donor who met through Facebook gave our journalist a sperm sample in a plastic container.

Screenshot of JE

A donor who met through Facebook gave our journalist a sperm sample in a plastic container.

These traditional methods are an easy way to avoid the hassles of health network and private clinics that offer more controlled services.

Free returns

The Association of Infertilité Québec reports a 20% increase in requests for fertility services in the public and private network since March 2020.

Waiting times are “especially related to the increase in requests […] from the start of offering insured IVF services [fécondation in vitro] Noémie Vanheuverzwijn wrote from the Ministry of Health’s media relations via email in November 2021.

Since that date, the ministry has resumed the free offer of some services that had been paid for several years.

The spokesperson adds that the pandemic and labor issues have also affected waiting times.

Céline Braun, president of the Infertilité Québec Association, also points out that Quebecers have more fertility problems because they are older when they want children.

“This is often due to people doing a job, studying, entering the labor market later. […] We wanted to create social, buy a house, “he explains, which delays the project of starting a family.

Attractive offers…or not

With a few clicks, you can find volunteers offering their sperm for free on Facebook. Here are some examples:







Finding sperm for public or private assisted reproduction clinics is not easy.

The Quebec Ministry of Health confirms that there is no sperm sample distributor in the province. A spokesperson explains via email that “only the sperm bank is private [clinique ovo] and protected for the needs of their patients”.

Therefore, reproduction centers must look abroad, especially to the United States, – explains Céline Braun of the Infertilité Quebec Association.

“Unfortunately, these banks are currently empty or nearly empty,” he said.

Ms. Brown believes that Canada and Quebec should consider rewarding donors as in the United States.

So Quebec can have sperm banks.

Three ways to access Fertility Services


Costs The Régie de l’assurance maladie covers one cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a maximum of six artificial inseminations.

Enterprises There are 15 publicly assisted birth centers in Quebec. CHU Sainte-Justine and McGill University Health Center are the only two that offer in vitro fertilization services.

Controls and precautions Assisted reproduction centers should especially assess donor suitability and sperm quality. They also provide sperm protection and quarantine.


Costs The cost of a basic IVF cycle can range from $4,000 to $8,600. It costs about $475 for IVF treatment in private practice.

Enterprises There are seven private assisted reproduction clinics in Quebec that also offer services covered by RAMQ.

Controls and precautions Like public centers, private clinics must also assess donor suitability and sperm quality. They also offer safe sperm storage and quarantine.

Artist Donation:

(Without an intermediary such as a doctor or healthcare facility)

Costs Free. It is illegal for a donor to receive payment under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.

Enterprises A few volunteer donors post ads on Facebook pages and discussion forums.

Controls and precautions There is no control and action may be taken at the discretion of either party. For example, the donor may be required to undergo a screening test for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI).

It is also possible for the donor and the woman in contact via the Internet to pass through the reproduction center, which provides better control.

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