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Shortage of donors at sperm bank clinics

An investigation today revealed that there is a “crisis” over lack of donors at sperm bank clinics. According to the BBC, with some of the clinics being totally out of stock//, women and couples wanting to have children were facing a major problem.

In 1990s, the highest number of donors was 459. Ever since, the number had been decreasing. To make it worse, last year a new law was passed that gave kids the right to know the identity of their donor father at the age of 18.

The BBC got in touch with all 84 NHS and private fertility clinics and the 1 sperm bank in the UK and received 74 responses. Nearly, 70% (50 clinics) were getting no sperm or had lot of problem in getting it, of late. The sperm bank had a supply, but revealed that there was a decrease in the number of donors. According to the investigation, in general 90% of all the donors went to only 10 clinics.

Allan Pacey, head of andrology at the University of Sheffield and secretary of the British Fertility Society, said there was a catastrophe.
He added: "If there aren't enough men who are willing to donate and be identified... and we don't have the ability to import sperm from other countries because the regulations are too tough, then we are not going to be able to treat patients that require donor sperm treatments. "Sadly, some will go without and sadly that may be the end of donor treatments as we have known it. "I think we are certainly in a crisis at the moment. Most of the clinics are finding it very difficult to get enough sperm to treat their patients."

Dr Pacey said patients were left in a inconsolable situation. "If they are unable to get treatment in their local clinic, then they are looking to other sources," he added. "Some are getting flights to other European countries, others may turn to Internet sites that are providing sperm for home insemination. There are signs of desperation and I thoroughly understand them."

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