Report calls for increase in sperm donor numbers

A new report from the British Fertility Society (BFS) has highlighted steps that should be taken to address the existing shortage of sperm donors in the UK.

According to a working party convened by the BFS, around 4,000 patients require a sperm donor every year in the UK.

As there are limits on the number of recipients a single sperm donor can inseminate, this means that at least 500 donors need to be recruited each year.

However, there were only 307 new donors in 2006, down 40 per cent since 1991.

The report, which is published in the journal Human Fertility, calls on the government to help implement a strategy to improve the nation's donor recruitment infrastructure.

Dr Mark Hamilton, who chairs the working party, said: "Sperm donation is a key aspect of assisted reproductive therapy and many couples rely on donors to create a family.

"The British Fertility Society now calls on the Department of Health to assist the sector in the implementation of a centrally coordinated strategy to address this significant area of healthcare provision which is currently inadequate to meet current and future service needs."

According to Infertility Network UK, around one in six couples seek infertility treatment or some other form of specialist help in order to have a child.

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Report calls for increase in sperm donor numbers
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