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Shortage of donors at sperm bank clinics

onors, the sperms of only 5 will be accepted after the procedure of testing and selection.

Following is the data from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) about the number of men registered to be donors in the past few years: 325 men in 2000, 328 in 2001, 278 in 2002, 255 in 2003 and 248 in 2004. The data for 2005 will be released later this year.

A spokesman for the HFEA said: "There had been a steady downward trend in donors since the late 1990s long before changes to the anonymity law were discussed. The HFEA highlighted the problem in June and urged clinics to do more to recruit donors."

Dr Mark Hamilton, chair of the British Fertility Society, said: "The British Fertility Society is well aware of the difficulties many patients throughout the country are experiencing in accessing gamete donation services, in particular donor insemination treatment.

"A working party has been convened by the society to examine the situation and will shortly be making recommendations to the Department of Health.

"Provision of such services requires significant resources to attract, recruit, screen, and counsel prospective donors. The survey reinforces our own findings that many clinics are now finding it impossible to provide these services.

"One solution may be the development of a nationally co-ordinated donor recruitment service, managed through a number of adequately resourced recruitment centres, to meet the urgent needs of our patients, many of whom remain distressed by yet another example of postcode variation in quality and availability of fertility services throughout the country."
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