A NEW sperm bank is looking for donors.
Leeds Reproductive Medicine Centre helps couples with fertility problems across Kirklees.
The donations are vital in cases where IVF is unsuccessful or men will pass on inherited genetic disease.
The state-of-the-art unit is now appealing for healthy men aged between 18 and 40 from all ethnic groups who are prepared to make a commitment – as the rules surrounding sperm donation have changed.
Professional guidelines mean more than one visit to hospital over a period of around nine to twelve months, and these include stringent screening checks.
Men can no longer donate sperm anonymously. The donor’s identity is not revealed to the prospective parents, but any child born would have the right to trace their biological father when they reach adulthood if they wanted to.
Dr Dave Morroll, consultant embryologist at the Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine, said: “More than one in seven couples have difficulty conceiving, of whom a relatively small but still significant number need help using donated sperm.
“This may be for infertility reasons or in some cases donated sperm is used to prevent the inheritance of genetic disorders.
“Here in Leeds we have not had access to a local sperm bank for some time, meaning couples have to rely on donors in other areas, who can be in short supply.
“Now is the right time for us to start building up a donor bank here in Leeds which can help couples across West and North Yorkshire who use our service.
“There is a particular shortage of donated sperm from ethnic minorities so we are keen to identify men in these groups who are prepared to help couples from a similar background to their own.
“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 transform the lives of couples who would otherwise be unable to have a baby of their own, and can make a huge difference.”