IVF clinics aren’t doing enough to encourage people to donate eggs and sperm, the head of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the fertility watchdog, has suggested.
In a new push to raise awareness of egg and sperm donation, chair of the HFEA Lisa Jardine has said she wanted egg donation to become as “obvious as blood donation”.
Lots of men are apparently interested in making sperm donations but are put off, feeling unwelcome or not having their phone calls returned, said Lisa.
“We have some evidence, somewhat anecdotal, that donors are not particularly welcomed at clinics. Clinics are more and more busy and donors are [treated as] a sort of side issue,” she explained.
Lisa added that women going through fertility treatment could also be encouraged to donate, reports PA. “Women going through treatment will probably be stimulated to produce more eggs than they use themselves,” she said. “Now some of them choose to freeze those for further attempts but there may well be more eggs than that, in which case donating them to another woman who doesn’t have viable eggs of her own is the most extraordinary gift.”
However, Lisa said there were issues to consider. One of these is that people can’t donate anonymously anymore, so any child produced from treatment could attempt to track down the donor later in their life.
Laura Witjens, Chair of the National Gamete Donation Trust, said raising awareness about sperm and egg donation could make it a subject to “talk about in the pub.” Laura commented that while egg donors were perhaps seen as “good people”, sperm donors sometimes had the stigma of being a “dirty man”. Raising awareness, said Laura, could help end this stigma, reports the Telegraph.
Have you ever donated? Or become a parent because of donated eggs or sperm?