March 5, 2024

Clinics face crisis over sperm donation figures

The UK faces a sperm donor shortage and new recruitment strategies are urgently required, says a leading IVF clinic. Doctors at the Newcastle Fertility Clinic at Life (sic) studied sperm donation at their centre between 1994 and 2003. Their findings give an insight into the little-known market for sperm.

Of 1101 men who applied to be sperm donors, fewer than 4% were accepted. Most were rejected because of sub-optimal sperm quality. Most of the accepted donors were students (67%), unmarried (87%) or without a partner (62%). Each made an average of 45 deposits.

The average number of applicants declined throughout the period, with a sharp fall after 2000, probably because of concerns about the removal of donor anonymity. From April 2005, IVF children will have a right to know the identity of their genetic parents.