Sweden is currently facing an acute shortage of sperm for assisted pregnancy, as would-be donors avoid hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.
This as resulted in the halt in inseminations in large parts of the healthcare system and driving up waiting times by years.
“We’re running out of sperm. We’ve never had so few donors as during the last year,” said Ann Thurin Kjellberg, head of the reproduction unit at Gothenburg’s University Hospital.
“It’s a national phenomenon. We’ve run out in Gothenburg and Malmo, they will soon run out in Stockholm,” she added, naming the three most populous areas of the country.
Swedish doctors told Reuters that the shortage has meant waiting times for assisted pregnancy have shot up from around six months to an estimated 30 months in the past year, possibly longer.
Beyond public healthcare providers, there are also private clinics in Sweden which are able to circumvent shortages by buying sperm from abroad.
But assisted pregnancy treatment there often costs as much as 100,000 Swedish crowns (N4.5m), making it unaffordable for many.
Assisted pregnancy is free within Sweden’s national health service.
Some Swedish regions have taken to social media to encourage potential male donors, but with varying results.
In the meantime, the shortage lingers. “We need to go on TV and tell Swedish men to come forward,” Thurin Kjellberg said.
Read Also: Second COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Uncertain as Delay in Deliveries Occur – Africa CDC