Swedish sperm banks unable to meet demand

July 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM
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GOTHENBURG, Sweden, July 24 (UPI) -- Sperm banks throughout Sweden are struggling to meet increased artificial insemination demands due to a shortage of healthy sperm, a health official says.

Inger Bryman, head of gynecology and reproductive medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, said artificial insemination applications have increased dramatically since Sweden legalized such procedures for female same-sex couples, The Local reported Thursday.

"We had estimated an increase of around 25 couples per year after the law change. Now there are 90 couples in line," she said, referring to law change in mid-2005.

The increased demand comes as Swedish fertility clinics are facing a shortage of healthy sperm. The shortage comes in the wake of new legislation that allows individuals 18 and older that were conceived by artificial insemination to learn their biological father's identity.

The Local said the sperm shortage and increased fertility demand in Sweden has prompted some couples to seek treatment in Denmark, which has more stringent donor anonymity measures.

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