Saturday, November 18, 2006

Clinics target men's toilets in search for new sperm donors

no. 293

OK, let me start off that while I am glad to hear that clinics in the UK are being creative in their quest to find new avenues to find sperm donors this one, for me personally, crossed a line. For a future donor conceived individual to ever learn that their biological parent started down the road to their creation due to his reading an ad possibly over the urinal is pushing it. I know I joined the "Don't be a Wanker" campaign to help support new ideas but the association between urinal and creation I find distasteful.

The Independent
By Sophie Goodchild
Published: 19 November 2006


Fertility clinics are to advertise for potential sperm donors in men's toilets for the first time in an attempt to help couples desperate to have children.

The shortage in recruits has forced one clinic in the West Midlands to display posters above public urinals urging men to sign up.

Midland Fertility Services, near Birmingham, is targeting 18- to 45-year-olds with its campaign, which launches this month, through appeals in the gents at Walsall Football Club as well as in fire and ambulance stations."

Dr Gillian Lockwood, the clinic's medical director, said: "The removal of anonymity has had a direct impact on sperm donation. We want to attract older men who may already have families with quality sperm who are motivated by altruism."


Elle said...

The Independent has a habit of twisting things ever so slightly.

What many clinics trying to do nowadays is raising awareness about sperm donation in areas where you can expect many men. I don't know the exact plans of the Midlands -and again, I don't trust the wording of The Independent- but what clinics generally try to achieve is that guys talk about it. It is unlikely that someone wants to become a donor there and then but if he goes back to the bar and says "Have you seen that poster?" it will raise awareness.

Also, small research in the UK has shown that the people who decide to enquire about donation typically have heard or read about it quite a few times before they pick up the phone. One of the times he may have heard about it is when one of his friends came back from the toilet and mentioned the poster he had just seen. It is not a matter of going to the toilet, reading about it and donating. The tactics are little and often so potential donors will get the message eventually.

I can understand that recipients would feel uncomfortable knowing that 'the decisive moment' happened in the toilet but that scenario is highly unlikely.

Richard said...


Sorry to say that I disagree with you. I can see your point but I don't see that it matters where the idea is planted in someone's head to consider becoming a donor. It only matters that more donors are needed and this is a way to get that message across.

Elle is right, this is just about making people think about it and that has to be a good thing.


DI_Dad said...

You are both absolutely correct that a potential donor in all probability does not make their decision while standing at the urinal. And that of course the idea is to get creative and get the message out there.

I defend myuse of the phrase "but the association between urinal and creation I find distasteful" as it was my hoomest reaction. I certainly didn't make it to condemn the goal behind it. You two know me well enough to know that. Although I can see now the phrase being taken that way.