Saturday, November 5, 2016

In Britain, National Sperm Bank stops recruiting donors

The Telegraph has the story: National Sperm Bank stops recruiting donors after just two years

"The National Sperm Bank (NSB) was a joint project run by the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) and the Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre and launched in October 2014 with a £77,000 grant from the Department of Health.
It was hoped the service would plug the gap in the shortage of donors and prevent couples being forced to look for sperm from overseas.
The bank hoped to be self-sufficient within a year but because the full donor process takes up to 18 months they were unable to generate enough income to keep going.
Although they only managed to recruit seven viable donors, experts said it was the business model that proved their ultimate downfall.
"For every 100 men who enquire about being a donor, only 4 or 5 are ultimately accepted.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority estimate that 2,000 children are born every year in the UK using donated eggs, sperm or embryos and there are around licensed UK clinics performing sperm donor insemination.
But the majority of clinics are based in London and the south-east of England and treatment can be expensive. The cost of donor sperm from the UK's largest sperm bank, the London Sperm Bank, is currently £950. In contrast the National Sperm bank was proposing to charge £300 per insemination.
"The bank has also suffered because since 2005 the children of donors have a right to learn the identity of their fathers when they turn 18. The numbers of men willing to donate sperm has fallen dramatically since their anonymity was removed."

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