BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — America is having a sperm donor shortage, including Louisiana. Women of color are the ones paying the price.

“We’ve seen this issue, we saw it coming,” claimed Alyse Mencias, Sperm Bank Clinic Relations Manager.

15 percent of Louisiana’s women deal with infertility causing them to have to receive a sperm or egg donor. “It’s just gone up,” explained Mencias. “I think since 2020 in the pandemic, people really started thinking, I’m going to start a family.”

But unfortunately, that is not easy for minorities. “Finding sperm donors or egg donors, for that matter, that represent all different populations and different ethnicities are always going to challenge,” Dr. Neil Chappell, Woman’s Hospital, Physician Reproductive Endocrinologist/ OBGYN. “African-American donors coming into the program is much lower than the rest. Same with other donors of color,” explained Mencias.

Mencias says donations by people of color are gone within minutes. Because there are so few sperm donations from minorities, the wait to start a family that represents them can take years. “I’ve worked in this industry, and now I’m stepping into the patient’s shoes, and says, I wouldn’t have any options,” she continued.

Doctors believe it is not an easy fix to end the shortage. With extreme requirements for people’s protection and a lack of knowledge — spreading the word is the only way to close the gap. “Infertility is across the spectrum of height and races, so I was like, yes, there’s someone out there who needs you,” emphasized Mencias.