A recently re-opened sperm bank is making an urgent appeal for East Lothian men to donate to offer a lifeline to couples desperate to become parents.
Potential donors will be offered a full health check as well as a £35 payment in exchange for a donation at the Edinburgh Sperm Bank based at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
If they are found to be suitable, men could then make up to nine further donations, with a £35 payment for each.
Around 100 people in Lothian currently waiting for fertility treatment could benefit from sperm donations.
It is hoped healthy men from across East Lothian, aged between 18 and 40, will view becoming a donor in the same way as giving blood or signing up as an organ donor.
Graham Mackenzie, a consultant in public health with NHS Lothian, said that sperm had become increasingly difficult for the health board’s fertility service to source in recent years.
He added: “We’ve struggled to get any sperm. We want to have a locally-provided service and local donors, that’s by far the best way of doing it. We can provide treatment to many more people because it’s much cheaper to access sperm than from commercial services.
“We’re keen to have donors from across society so it reflects the wide range of requirements people have. This is really about men who want to help others have a family. You can view it in the same way as giving blood or an organ. It’s not a simple decision, but some people choose through altruism to give donor sperm.”
Eligible men will complete an initial questionnaire, before going through medical and genetic testing. If they are deemed suitable, they will be asked to make ten donations over up to three months at what NHS Lothian has called its “production facilities” at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Information on how to donate can be found here.
If you’re one of the couples needing a sperm donor to fulfil your dream of becoming a parent, we’d love to tell your story. Contact us here.