UK & World News
National Sperm Bank Launched To Meet Demand
A national sperm bank is to be launched to meet increasing demand and shorten waiting times.
The service will start in October in conjunction with the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) and Birmingham Women's Hospital.
The Department of Health says the service will benefit patients "both NHS and privately, of all ethnicities across the UK, including same-sex couples and single women".
The two organisations have been awarded £77,000 by the DoH.
Based at Birmingham Women's Hospital, the sperm bank will offer an NHS-based, fully-integrated donor recruitment, screening and banking centre for all of the UK.
It is hoped the bank will reduce the number of patients putting themselves at risk by using unregulated sperm donation services.
For the first time, those from ethnic minority backgrounds will be able to choose from a range of culturally matched donors.
There is currently a national shortage of sperm donors in the UK, especially in NHS clinics, Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust said.
At present, some patients needing donor sperm are faced with few options and find themselves on waiting lists and having to use unregulated providers.
Some have to stop treatment altogether, the Birmingham trust said.
A DoH spokesman said: "The National Sperm Bank will benefit all patients who need these services."