Sporting Sperm Donors
In Britain, soccer fans, or "football" fans, as they are called in the UK, get pretty hot under the collar about which team outranks the others. But now, it's really getting down and dirty with followers wondering whether the genes of fans for the Manchester City team beat the genes of fans for the Manchester United team. Gene superiority may not seem relevant here, but that's only because until now, you weren't aware that the NHS intends to recruit both teams' fans as sperm donors.
A government-sponsored pilot scheme on behalf of the national sperm bank will be initiated during January of 2010 in the city of Manchester. The program will focus on encouraging sports fans to be tested as sperm donors. The program is being run by St. Mary's hospital with the hope that this pilot scheme will lead to the creation of a national sperm bank supplied by sperm donations, in much the same way as blood donations make blood banks possible.
St. Mary's professor of clinical embryology, Daniel Brison, who is associated with the hospital's department of reproductive medicine, commented that sports events seemed a likely place where one could find the sort of men who might be willing to donate their sperm. “Approaching sports fans at football and cricket matches in Manchester is a way of accessing large numbers of men,” said Brison. “We might also get support from the sports clubs themselves. The idea is to make it easier to donate.”
Brison hopes to appeal to the fans with clever slogans, but wants to be very careful about the composition of these witty promotional phrases. It's all too easy for him to imagine rival fans calling out, "What a bunch of sperm donors," or something along those lines.
A drop in sperm donations in the UK has forced fertility clinics to buy sperm from places like Denmark. This in turn has led to speculation that a new generation of blue-eyed, blonde Brits with a look of the Viking about them will result from the enterprise.
Sperm donation in the UK dropped after the government changed its policy so that children born from donor gametes will be able to discover the identities of their biological parents on reaching the age of 18. While the number of donors has bounded back, many donors are placing restriction on the use of their sperm, for instance, they will only donate to specific, named women. That means that fewer women have the ability to receive anonymous donor sperm.