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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter

London Sperm Bank launched

12 April 2010

By Sarah Guy

Appeared in BioNews 553

The UK's first stand-alone clinic focused on recruiting new sperm donors, has announced its opening. The London Sperm Bank (LSB) - licensed by fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - will incorporate two existing sperm banks, the Louis Hughes Sperm Bank, and the London Women's Clinic's (LWC's) own bank.

'This significant partnership will provide hope to thousands of women who may otherwise struggle to find treatment with the current shortage of donor sperm', said LSB's scientific director Dr Kamal Ahuja.

The LSB aims to expand its current stock of approximately 10,000 sperm vials to provide a speedier service and wider choice to women seeking donors. It serves all the LWC's clinics at present, but hopes to broaden this scope to other HFEA-licensed fertility clinics in the UK by 2011.

'Our aim is to give women in the UK maximum choice without having to undertake expensive travel abroad', the LSB's website says. 'We support the HFEA's anxiety about women procuring sperm from non-licensed sources'.

The creation of the LSB is partly a response to the country's 'critical' shortage of donor sperm. In 2008, the British Fertility Society published a report on sperm donation which called for a 'national co-ordinated strategy' to improve the donor infrastructure in the UK.

The LSB believe one possible explanation for the current shortage of sperm donors is the impact of the removal of donor anonymity in 2005, requiring that men provide identifying information to the HFEA when they donate. Any children conceived using the donated sperm have the right to request the donor's identifying information at age 18.

The clinic has designed a somewhat provocative logo which Dr Ahuja says: 'has a directness and openness which we believe will bring the whole subject of donor insemination into the mainstream', and which aims: 'to get more men thinking seriously about becoming a donor'.

Men wishing to make a donation at the LSB must be fit, healthy males aged between 18 and 45 years.


London Sperm Bank | 12 April 2010


11 July 2011 - by Sarah Guy 
Some of the highlights from the 27th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction (ESHRE) in Stockholm include good news for sperm donation in the UK; advice about how to reduce the effects of tobacco on unborn children; a 'non invasive' screening technique for chromosomal abnormalities in embryos; and a mathematical model to help reduce multiple births in IVF procedures... [Read More]
21 February 2011 - by Sujatha Jayakody 
A bone cell hormone can regulate male fertility hormone testosterone, a study on mice has found. Male mice engineered to produce little osteocalcin, a hormone released by bone cells called osteoblasts, had smaller litters and testes than unmodified mice... [Read More]
18 October 2010 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
Two men convicted of providing sperm over the internet without a licence have escaped a custodial sentence... [Read More]
28 June 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
A controversial dating website that only allows 'beautiful people' to join has launched a sperm and egg bank so that people can have 'beautiful children'... [Read More]
21 June 2010 - by Professor Vardit Ravitsky 
The debate surrounding the rights and welfare of donor offspring has been gaining momentum over the past few years, and a growing number of countries have already banned anonymous sperm donation to ensure the right of offspring to access information about their donors... [Read More]

15 March 2010 - by Ailsa Stevens 
A donated human egg will be raffled on Wednesday to mark the launch of a new IVF service which helps UK women to access egg donation services in America. The new service, offered by the Bridge Centre in London, will allow patients to select egg donors on the basis of characteristics such as racial background, health, education and appearance.... [Read More]
08 February 2010 - by Harriet Vickers 
Men could soon be able to check their sperm count in the comfort of their own homes, as scientists have developed a 'lab-on-a-chip' able to test levels in seconds.... [Read More]
08 February 2010 - by Rose Palmer 
Scientists from the University of California in San Francisco have identified the mechanism by which sperm start swimming towards the egg when they enter the female reproductive system. The discovery could lead to drugs that boost male fertility and new forms of contraceptives... [Read More]

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