The national sperm bank

So, we finally have a national sperm bank in the UK… Based at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, this will be the world’s first independent sperm bank and it aims to address the shortage of donor sperm in the UK.

Although there have been increases in the number of sperm donors in recent years, the demand has been outstripping the supply – and we’re importing more and more donated sperm from overseas, mainly Denmark and the USA.

The sperm bank is a collaboration between the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) and Birmingham Women’s Hospital, and was set up with government funding. It is based within the NHS, and will eventually aim to deliver donor sperm to those who need it across the country.

Sue Avery, Director of Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre, said: ‘There is currently a national shortage of sperm donors in the UK, especially in NHS clinics and particularly among some ethnic minorities. Patient numbers continue to rise and treating those who need donor sperm to build their families is a major problem. 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.’

Laura Witjens, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Gamete Donation Trust, says they want to change the way people think about sperm donation. ‘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.’

If you are a man aged between 18 and 41 and you are interested in joining the ranks of these special men, you can text ‘Donor’ to 88802 for more information and visit www.veryspecialman.co.uk.

very-special-man-logo-v2

An effortless way to raise funds for Infertility Network UK

If you’d like to help support the charity working for all those touched by fertility problems, there’s a new and totally effortless way to raise cash for Infertility Network UK.  Be Social is  a unique new campaign run by Eeva where you can help raise money with a simple click – either by following one of the clinics in the campaign on Twitter, or by liking them on Facebook.

You can find details of all the clinics on the Be Social page on the Eeva website – you just have to click on the icons next to the names to like or follow them and for each new person to do this, Eeva will donate a pound to Infertility Network UK.

The clinics taking part are Bourn Hall Clinic, Wessex Fertility, GCRM Belfast, GCRM Glasgow, Reproductive Health Group Cheshire, Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre, The Hewitt Fertility Centre and The London Women’s Clinic Cardiff.

Please help – Infertility Network UK needs funds to be able to help you, and it won’t take more than a couple of minutes to make a real difference.