It’s not only couples who have faced a sex famine in lockdown. Sperm donation has dried up too!
The number of men donating has fallen by 66% in the UK since the beginning of the pandemic.
One in seven British couples face difficulty conceiving and the UK is importing around 7,000 samples each year to keep up with demand.
New research of 2000 British men shows that more than 78% of them believe more men would donate if they understood more about fertility. In fact, only 8% of men 45 or over know how to donate.
Sperm donors can receive up to £35 per clinic visit to cover their expenses, with more available to cover travel, accommodation or childcare. It’s illegal to pay sperm donors more than their reasonable expenses.
Give Future Families a Choice, is a campaign launched in a bid to change outdated perceptions.
The study found that 87% of British men weren’t aware of the number of couples in the UK having difficulties conceiving.
More than half (54%) of British men didn’t understand the process of how to donate sperm, with almost half of males (44%) claiming that fertility is not an important quality of a sperm donor. Whilst being a non-smoker, non-drinker and being physically fit ranked highly in terms of donor suitability.
68% of those men surveyed did not understand that a traceable family history is an important factor to becoming a suitable donor.
Additionally, a third of British men (33%) believe that sperm donation has the same level of social acceptance as giving blood. Nearly half of these men (48%) have given blood and 49% would be comfortable donating sperm.
“One thing for certain is there is a clear gap in an understanding of what it takes to become a sperm donor and why donation is important,” says Edward Coats, Consultant at The Fertility Partnership’s Donor Bank. “British men aren’t aware of the enormous difference they can make to the lives of British couples as they bring new families to life.”
“Every year, around 2000 children are conceived in the UK with the help of a donor according to the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA). Offering a centralised Donor Bank is the first step in the process but we need donors to come forward.” he continues.
“With demand outweighing supply in the UK, we want to educate the men of Britain about the process of sperm donation and debunk the myths that surround it, so that we can increase the number of donors within our donor banks and help give future British families a choice.”
The good news is that younger men are eager to learn more about the process of sperm donation. The TFP Donor Bank study found that more than any other age group, millennials, (25-34 year olds), are keen to learn more about how a sperm bank works (55%).
For more information about the TFP Donor Bank or to find out if you could donate, please visit www.tfpdonorbank.com.
Pic by: @deonblack