6 October 2005

The British Fertility Society welcomes the conclusions of the SEED review, and we welcome the greater reliance on professional bodies in setting standards for the medical and laboratory screening sperm, egg and embryo donors.

The Society is encouraged that there is no additional red tape associated with donor recruitment or specifically the importing of sperm from other countries.

The Society welcomes that suggestion that, in addition to the reimbursement of reasonable expenses, donors may receive limited compensation for loss of earnings (including benefits ‘in kind’) for donation. The current system of expenses is unfair and potentially discriminatory.

Figures released by the HFEA suggest that whilst over the past 10 years the profile of egg donors has not changed, the profile of sperm donors has changed significantly. This is an interesting finding and is consistent with what was anticipated following the removal of anonymity. However, the society remains concerned whether sufficient
numbers of men (and women) are still coming forward to become donors as this information has not been released. The society asks that this data be made publicly accessible and made available for peer review.

Dr Allan Pacey, secretary of the British Fertility Society said:

“We welcome the conclusions of the SEED report. Although medical advances have made us less reliant on donated gametes, for some couples it will be their only way of starting a family. It is therefore vital that we are able to sustain enough egg, sperm and
embryo donors to meet the demand of the UK population. We remain concerned about the numbers of donors coming forward and continue to work with the National Gamete Donation Trust. But we now need to see the figures on the number of sperm and egg donors so we can see if the campaigns to date have been successful.”