Victorian sperm donor numbers fallen by almost a quarter in past year

The supply of sperm donors in Victoria has dropped by 23 per cent over the past financial year, according to the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority's (VARTA's) Annual Report 2014. There were only 343 sperm donors at the start of 2013-14 compared to 445 in the previous year.

At the same time, the increase in demand for donor sperm from single women and those in same-sex relationships has resulted in demand outstripping supply in the state, with the use of donor insemination almost doubling between 2013-14 and 2012-13.

"A number of clinics in Victoria are having trouble recruiting enough sperm donors to meet demand," said Ms Johnson.

"Victoria leads the way in legislation protecting the rights of donors and donor-conceived people. It will always be better for anyone seeking donor sperm to be able to recruit locally - better for them, better for their children and better for donors."

"We encourage anyone thinking about being a sperm donor to take the next step to find out what's involved - your decision to donate could make a big difference to the lives of others," she said.

Victoria continues to have a high number of surrogacy births in comparison to the rest of Australia - roughly one half of all live births occurring from surrogacy arrangements across the country have taken place in Victoria. 

Other recent developments in assisted reproductive treatment include:

The use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for the detection of chromosomal abnormalities has increased in the past financial year with 399 women in treatment in 2013-14 compared with 325 women in treatment the previous year, which marks a 23 per cent increase. Screening for chromosome abnormalities using PGD may be appropriate for women aged in their late thirties or older for individuals or couples who have experienced repeated miscarriage or IVF failure.

The number of Victorian women aged 40 or older seeking assisted reproductive treatment remains steady at around 27 per cent. There was also little percentage change for other age groups - 36 per cent were aged between 35 and 39, and 37 per cent were aged less than 35.

By contrast, the use of IVF treatment continues to grow in Victorian which saw 20,375 treatment cycles in the 2013-14 reporting period, compared with 19,847 in 2012-13 - an increase of almost three per cent.

For information regarding the number of national surrogacy births, please refer to the University of New South Wales' Australian & New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) reports: https://npesu.unsw.edu.au/data-collection/australian-new-zealand-assiste....

For more information please contact:

Marjorie Solomon

VARTA PR Officer

Phone: 03 8601 5250

Direct line: 03 8622 0503

Mobile: 04 52 51 53 02

Email: [email protected]