October 4, 2022

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Overlege Camilla Kleveland sitter i et hvitt sykehusrom på St. Olavs Hospital i Trondheim. Hun har på seg legefrakk og ser inn i kamera.

Drought in Norway’s sperm banks – Singles and couples need more sperm donations – NRK Sørlandet – Local news, TV and radio

20 to 25 new donors are allowed to donate sperm each year. If we can do that, we can get shorter waiting times. Last year we managed to bring 18 people.

Peter Fedorczak, head of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at Oslo University Hospital, says: He says the rules for sperm donation are strict.

Each donor can only donate to six families. This means that the sperm bank is constantly in need of new donors.

They also have a shortage of donors in other public sperm banks in the country.

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St. in Trondheim When Olav’s hospital bank started in 2020, they received a large amount of deposits. Now only a few register.

The room used by sperm donors at St. Olav's is soundproof.  A small note on the inside of the room door says so.

Soundproofing: The room used by sperm donors at St. Olav’s Hospital is soundproof and good hand hygiene is encouraged.

Photo: Sverre Lilleeng / NRK

We have a lot to do, but we still need donors, says senior doctor Camilla Cleveland.

What effects does it have on you?

We are in danger of using them.

In Trondheim they currently have no waiting list. This means women and couples from all over the country seek help there.

Approaches

– We are a bit behind other countries, especially Denmark. Katinga Thors says there are still many barriers to sperm donation in Norway today.

She is the president of FEMA, a voluntary assisted conception association for single mothers.

Thores believes many Norwegian women go to private clinics because waiting lists at Oslo University Hospital are long.

With the donor shortage, something else has happened. For I In 2020, the Biotechnology Act was amended. Later single women were also allowed to receive sperm donation and assisted reproduction.

The fact that there is an entirely new group has put a lot of pressure on the already long queues for public treatment, Thores believes.

Katinga Thors 3

Katinka Thors from Sandefjord moved to Denmark before assisted reproduction was legalized for single people in Norway. He currently heads FEMA with 400 members.

Photo: Matthias Emil Olsen Thygesen / NRK

Some men travel from far away to Trondheim to donate sperm. The only problem is, according to Cleveland at St. Olav’s Hospital, there should have been more of them.

There are so many that are incredible philanthropy People who are passionate about helping others, Cleveland says.

Danish semen

Public hospitals only use Norwegian semen. This is not the case in private clinics. Livio in Oslo is Norway’s first private sperm bank and has been offering assisted reproduction with Norwegian, Icelandic and Swedish sperm since this year.

In contrast to public hospitals, they enjoy interest from Norwegian men.

“We see many men contacting us to donate sperm,” says clinic manager and gynecologist Nan B. Oldereid.

Clinic chain Medicus only offers Danish semen.

– Because we have an agreement with the Danish sperm bank. It has nothing to do with recruitment, says Marie Fevac Heger, a fertility coach at Medicus.

– Conservatives

Norwegians are generally conservative when it comes to bioethics, says Einar Dünger Bohn, professor and philosopher at Akter University.

– It feels foreign to many people, especially in Norway where we are a bit traditional and many people want to have children in a traditional way. That may have something to do with that attitude.

Philosopher Einar Dünger Bohn

Philosopher and professor Einar D. Bohn believes that many people are positive about donating sperm, but don’t want to do it themselves.

Photo: Caroline Tolfsen / NRK

– When you give up your sperm, it can feel unconventional and unnatural for kids to run around to the point where you don’t know where you are. It may feel pointless to make a lot of children and give them to others.

He believes that sperm donation will become more common in a few years.

– Like many things, stigma will fade over time.