Good news for those who are trying to conceive – a National Sperm Bank has opened in Birmingham, in a bid to deal with the shortage of sperm in the UK.
It was reported earlier in the year that UK clinics can’t get enough sperm donations to keep up with the growing demand, and as a result, are looking abroad to Nordic countries – particularly Denmark – to solve the problem.
This has led to a boom in ‘Viking babies’, according to the Telegraph.
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‘It’s a bit like the Viking invasion of 800AD,’ according to Dr Allan Pacey, a fertility expert from the University of Sheffield and current chairman of the British Fertility Society.
‘We are importing as a nation more and more sperm from overseas, without being xenophobic it kind of just doesn't feel right, it's a problem that's not going away,’ he added.
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The number of UK-based sperm donors has been increasing since 2004. However, demand has increased even faster, according to the BBC.
Furthermore, a 10th of IVF cycles are dependent on donated sperm or eggs, according to new data.
The Department of Health has given £77,000 to fund a national sperm bank which will be based at Birmingham Women's Hospital.
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There will be a corresponding campaign to "change the face" of sperm donation, which will be run by the National Gamete Donation Trust.
The project will start in Birmingham before being extending to cover the whole country.
Dr Sue Avery, the director of the Birmingham Women's Fertility Centre, told the BBC News website: ‘The idea of the campaign is to focus on sperm donation as a tremendously positive thing to do and that the men who do this are very special.
‘They're helping to build families.
‘We're spending this money to start something that we hope will grow to the point where nobody has to import sperm.’