February 25, 2024

Novel idea to beat sperm shortage in UK

Recruit men who want vasectomies
A British IVF doctor has come up with a novel idea to beat shortages in sperm banks. Dr Laurence Shaw, of The Bridge Centre, in London, suggests that men who want vasectomies should donate to an IVF clinic for a year before their operation. He describes it as a win-win situation. The donor gets a supply of back-up sperm should he wish to have more children after the vasectomy; the sperm bank increases its stock of sperm from men of proven virility; and the urologist gets a referral fee from the IVF clinic.

Dr Shaw opposes a law which require IVF clinics to identify the biological fathers of children once they turn 18. This new regulation has created a sperm shortage for the clinics as few sperm donors wish to take any responsibility for their offspring.

He also suggests that the age limit on sperm donation be dropped as well as the limit of siring children for only 10 families. He ridicules fears of inadvertent mating between half-siblings, estimating that it would happen only once every 50 to 100 years. He says that the gigantic number of descendants of Genghis Khan (8 million) and the mediaeval Scottish leader Somerled (500,000), who are #1 and #2, respectively, in world paternity stakes, suggests that there is nothing to fear.

He also champions a sperm market: "a market place with a restricted commodity increases the value of that commodity. Pay higher prices or buy abroad. Trans-border fertility treatment raises questions about lack of control of quality and safety. There is a threshold of restriction that drives people overseas. We are at that threshold now." ~ BioNews, June 8