National Sperm Bank Launches In Birmingham

A national sperm bank has launched in Birmingham.

The centre is a collaboration between the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) and Birmingham Women's Hospital, and aims to address the shortage of sperm donors in the UK.

The number of UK-based sperm donors has increased since 2004, but demand has increased at a more accelerated rate. As a result, the US and Denmark have become major suppliers of sperm to women in the UK.

The Department of Health has provided £77,000 to fund the national sperm bank which will be based at Birmingham Women's Hospital. A related campaign by the National Gamete Donation Trust, will also aim to "change the face" of sperm donation, Sky News has reported.

It is understood the new sperm bank will also allow women to choose a donor, according to criteria, while it is hoped up to 1,000 regular donors will be found for the project within three years.

Sue Avery, Director of Birmingham Women's Fertility Centre, said: "At present some patients needing donor sperm are faced with few safe options and find themselves on waiting lists of up to five years, or having to stop treatment altogether.

"Not only is the National Sperm Bank going to revolutionise access to donor sperm in this country, its founders are also on a mission to change the face of sperm donation."

Laura Witjens, chief executive of the National Gamete Donor Trust, is quoted as saying: "When people think of sperm donation they often only think about the physical act of producing sperm. Let's face it that can be off-putting and detract from the real issues. We're all set to change that outlook.

"Sperm donors are very special men who are doing something they and their families can be exceptionally proud of. These are men who are doing something life-changing for themselves and for others. It's time to shout about how fantastic these guys are."


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