The increase in the demand for medically assisted procreation (MAP) in Belgium is leading to shortages in sperm banks, which is giving MAP centres cause for concern. In addition to infertile couples, homosexual couples are making increasing use of this option. Furthermore, Belgium’s legal framework is attracting couples from neighbouring countries.
Consequently, Belgian MAP centres must obtain supplies from abroad, namely Denmark and the Cryos and Nordic Cryobank banks. Cryos is the bank with the highest international sales, supplying over 50 countries. “Without the Danish banks, the Belgian MAP centres would only be able to satisfy 10% or 20% of the demand”, explained Olivier Gaspard, Technical Manager at the MAP Laboratory, CHU (University Hospital Centre), Liège.
The factors that have been identified in an attempt to explain this shortage include “a lack of altruism and communication” and “the severity of the criteria for obtaining sperm”.