British Health Officials “World’s First National Sperm Bank” in Birmingham
The facility has opened in response to shortages of sperm donors in the UK, particularly from Indian and ethnic communities.
Britain so far has imported sperm from The United States and Denmark due to the low numbers. Based in Birmingham Women’s Hospital, the establishment is set to ‘change the face’ of sperm donation in the UK.
A key goal is to encourage more men from Indian and other ethnic backgrounds to donate sperm as many participants are of a white ethnicity.
Director of the Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre, Sue Avery said, “There is currently a national shortage of sperm donors in the UK, especially in National Health Service clinics and particularly among some ethnic minorities.
“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. Patient numbers continue to rise and treating those who need donor sperm to build their families is a major problem”.
The National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT), the national organisation for sperm, egg and embryo donation, is collaborating on the new project.
They stated that for the first time the bank will allow those from ethnic minority backgrounds to choose from a variety of culturally matched donors.
Laura Witjens, CEO of NGDT announced, “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.”
She added, “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.”