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Expenses row over fertility payment

A review of the expenses arrangements for sperm, egg and embryo donors in the UK has been announced after concerns were raised over inconsistencies in payment rules compared with other EU countries.

Currently, donors in the UK can only be reimbursed for travel costs and loss of earnings up to an overall limit of £250 per donation. However, in some other European countries compensation for "inconvenience" is allowed to reflect the consequences of the decision that is undertaken by the donor.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the body responsible for the regulation of fertility services in the UK, previously ruled that payment for "inconvenience" might encourage a "market" for sperm, egg and embryo donation as is seen to some extent in the US, where people can earn large sums of money helping infertile couples.

However, there have been calls for more flexibility in the interpretation of the rules in the UK to better reflect the sacrifices made by many donors.

The review will also discuss the age limits for male and female donors as well as restricting the number of families a man can donate his sperm to.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority