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Sperm donor law not a deterrent

26th June 2006

The body that oversees the sperm donor register in the UK has refuted claims a change in the fertility law is deterring men from donating.

Since April 2005, UK sperm donors have had to waive their right to anonymity.

The law change has been blamed for the current situation in the Thames Valley where only one man's sperm is available through the NHS. But the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority says it is a "myth" the change has caused a decline.

It has been claimed the lack of sperm donors across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire is forcing prospective parents to look abroad or at online firms.

Consultant gynaecologist Dr Tim Childs, of the fertility clinic at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, said recently the law change had put men off.

But HFEA spokesman John Paul Maytum cited Manchester as an area where supply outstrips demand.

Mr Maytum said the average sperm donor is not a student but now an "altruistic" family man in his 30s, said improvements in IVF conception rates mean there is less reliance on an abundance of donors.

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