Why women in UK go abegging for sperm donors?

November 13th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 13 (IANS) Where have all the generous sperm donors in UK gone?Lately, the country is facing a severe shortage of such ’seminal’ Samaritans. The problem has become particularly acute after the anonymity tag to protect their identity was removed in April 2005.

Although the move may have benefited children, who can now trace their biological parents when they attain the age of 18, it made donors back-off double-quick.

Reproductive experts pitched in for a slew of new measures in the British Medical Journal to keep their figures up after drastic decline in the number of donors.

Currently, many clinics struggle to recruit donors, have long waiting lists for those needing treatment, have high costs, the doctors said, according to an online report.

Mark Hamilton, who chairs British Fertility Society (BFS), based at Aberdeen University, and Allan Pacey, BFS secretary informed that 4,000 patients required donor sperm every year, or an additional 500 new ones annually to meet meet demand.

In 1996, 403 men were newly registered with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) as donors, whose numbers dwindled to 247 eight years later.

Figures in 2006 rose to 307 but fewer women could be treated with donated sperm. In 2005, 2,727 women were treated with donor sperm but this fell to 2,107 in 2006.

Hamilton and Pacey described the current limit of 10 families from a single donor as ‘arbitrary.’ They called for more sperm sharing schemes.

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