Sperm bank to be set up in Leeds

Infertile couples are being given more hope of having a longed-for baby as a new sperm bank is set up in Leeds.

Donors are being recruited for the bank, the first in the city for several years.

* Click here to sign up to free news and sport email alerts from your YEP.

Previously donor sperm has come from other facilities in the UK or abroad, but there is a shortage.

* Click here to follow the YEP on Twitter.

Consultant embryologist Dr Dave Morroll, from the Leeds Centre for

Reproductive Medicine at Seacroft Hospital, said: "We have got quite a backlog of parents needing donor sperm and that's one of the reasons to get this bank set up.

"More than one in seven couples have difficulty conceiving, of whom a relatively small but still significant number need help using donated sperm."

He said the number of donors had dropped after anonymity rules changed so children born as the result of donated sperm can trace their biological father when they become an adult. However, there is never any financial obligation and counselling is provided for donors.

"To become a sperm donor requires a certain commitment on the part of the men to be involved in the process for several months and to fully understand its implications. It is, however, a real opportunity to help transforms the lives of couples who would otherwise be unable to have a baby of their own, and can make a huge difference," Dr Morroll added.

Donors can be from any ethnic group but need to be healthy and aged between 18 and 40. The process takes between nine and 12 months and includes several visits to hospital and stringent screening tests.

Sperm donors can claim reasonable expenses for their visits to hospital and payments of up to 250 for loss of earnings are allowed.

Men with a serious interest in donating should contact 0113 2063416 or email: spermdonors@leedsth.nhs.uk.

Graham Pearce of KPMG

‘Lack of confidence prevents women from pursuing careers in technology sector’