Clinics are importing more foreign sperm to meet UK demand for IVF

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 30 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6540
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The UK is importing an increasing amount of foreign sperm to meet demand for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) because clinics find it easier than recruiting UK donors, a report from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has said.

The report said that demand for donated sperm and eggs is continuing to rise, from heterosexual couples as well as same sex female couples and single women.1 Of the fresh IVF cycles performed in 2013 around one in ten used donated gametes—5% used donated sperm, 4% used donated eggs, and <1% used both donated eggs and sperm or donated embryos.

The number of women registering as gamete donors each year is now almost twice that of men, and the number of newly registered sperm donors fell from 631 in 2012 to 586 in 2013. Laura Witjens, chief executive of the National Gamete Donor Trust, told The BMJ that the majority of sperm donors were recruited by …

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