Health

The Swedish sperm bank is exhausted


Sweden is facing a severe lack of spermatozoa due to donors’ reluctance to go to hospital because of Covid-19.

The above situation causes artificial insemination to delay. “The hospital is running out of sperm. There has never been as little donation as last year,” said Ann Thurin Kjellberg, head of obstetrics at Gothenburg University Hospital.

The shortage causes people in need of fertility to wait another six to 30 months or longer.

“I feel stress because I don’t know how long to wait,” said Elin Bergsten, a 28-year-old teacher.

Two years ago, Bergsten discovered her husband was infertile and the couple turned to artificial insemination. However, the process is delayed indefinitely due to lack of spermatozoa.

“This phenomenon happens nationwide. Gothenburg, Malmo are out of supply and so will Stockholm sooner or later,” said Ms. Kjellberg.

Some private clinics still carry out artificial insemination through buying sperm from abroad. However, the cost in these places is about 11,785 USD, which is out of reach for many people, while in public hospitals, the service is free.

Sweden and Belgium are the two countries with the highest rates of artificial insemination in the world, according to the European Society for Reproduction and Embryology. According to Swedish law, one sperm sample can only be used for up to 6 women. Samples have now reached this limit, leaving many women at a loss, unless they have received a sample of sperm in advance.

Margareta Kitlinski, head of the reproductive department at Skane University Hospital, said it takes about eight months to test a donor. Many sperm samples cannot be used due to storage problems.

“Out of 50 men, only half are eligible to donate,” Kitlinski said.

To improve this problem, some regions make an announcement on social media to encourage men to donate, but the shortage persists.

“We need to be on television and get Swedish men in,” said Ms. Kjellberg.

Mai Dung (According to the Reuters)

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