A New Year Resolution With A Difference – Donate Sperm!

Issue Date: 28 December 2004

Midland Fertility Services (MFS) is appealing to all men aged 18 – 45 to make a New Year resolution with a difference – to become sperm donors.

MFS will hold sperm donor clinics from 4.30 – 6.30pm every Tuesday from 4 January 2005 at its Aldridge clinic. No appointment is necessary and it could make a difference to the many couples waiting for donor sperm to have a baby. MFS is the Midlands’ longest established independent fertility clinic.

The current shortage of donor sperm for use in fertility treatment means there are long waiting lists of potential recipients who have no other way of conceiving a baby. All screened donors receive £15 expenses for each sample.

All volunteer donors receive counselling and have an initial consultation with a doctor, covering family medical history, lifestyle issues and blood screening for infectious diseases. If the blood tests are negative, donors are invited to provide a semen sample, which is checked for the ‘super-sperm’ currently required for fertility treatment and then frozen in quarantine for six months.

“Sperm from about 1 in 10 possible donors can currently be used in fertility treatment because of the thorough screening procedure and because some, for unknown reasons, is unable to survive the freeze/thaw process,” said Su Barlow, laboratory director at Midland Fertility Services. “Therefore we need many, many new volunteers to help re-stock and maintain a reasonable level of donor sperm.”

The amount of available donor sperm has already been affected by a change to the law regarding donor anonymity which has discouraged former regular donors from continuing.

From 1 April 2005 any child who knows they were conceived from donor sperm is entitled to trace the identity of their genetic father once they reach the age of 18, and if they contact the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA). But potential donors should be reassured that they will not have any financial responsibility for any child conceived from the use of their sperm in fertility treatment via an HFEA licensed fertility clinic.

Men interested in becoming sperm donors should contact Midland Fertility Services on 01922 455911.

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Established in 1987 for the investigation and treatment of infertility, Midland Fertility Services specialises in assisted conception techniques and is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Based in Aldridge and Wolverhampton, it is the longest established independent provider of advanced fertility treatments in the Midlands, treats private and NHS patients and offers a range of services including IVF, ICSI, egg donation, egg and embryo freezing and sperm recovery procedures. Patients travel to Midland Fertility Services from throughout the UK and from as far away as Africa and the West Indies.