As Covid-19 has deterred donors from hospitals, Sweden has reported a shortage of sperm for assisted pregnancies, driving up waiting times by years.
“We’re running out of sperm. We’ve never had so few donors as during the last year,” head of the reproduction unit at Gothenburg’s University Hospital, Ann Thurin Kjellberg, said.
Waiting times have been pushed back from around six months to an estimated 30 months in the past year, Swedish doctors told Reuters.
“It’s a national phenomenon,” Thurin Kjellberg continued. “We’ve run out in Gothenburg and Malmo, they will soon run out in Stockholm.”
With shortages hitting three of the most populated areas in Sweden, private clinics have begun buying sperm from abroad.
However, private clinics are not affordable for many, while assisted pregnancy is free via Sweden’s national health service.
“We need to go on TV and tell Swedish men to come forward,” Thurin Kjellberg added.
A sperm sample can only be used by a maximum of six women, under Swedish law, which means that most donated sperm has reached its legal capacity.
In some areas, assisted pregnancy is only available for women who have used a specific sperm sample before.