Sometimes the British are seen as reluctant to talk about intimate matters. The ABA, or Association of Biomedical Andrologists, is one organisation that smashes this stereotype.
As a representative of Linkam I was invited to their AGM meeting and conference last week where dozens of scientists met to talk male fertility.
Key speaker Dr Allan Pacey, Senior Lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield, spoke about the growing 'banking' crisis. Men facing treatment, such as chemotherapy, are encoraged to store sperm samples in the event that treatment leads to infertility. One consequence of this is that samples are stored in sperm banks indefinitely, as these men are treated, and on some occasions cease contact with the fertility clinic. This leads to an ever growing number of samples which cannot be destroyed without consent.
Dr Pacey cited an example of a man in his thirties who had been treated for cancer as a teenager and had banked his sperm before treatment. Nearly twenty years later he has fathered a child after re-establishing contact with the clinic. It is stories like this that help to put a human face on the issue of long term sperm banking and is a poignant reminder that each sample represents a family's future.
The Association of Biomedical Andrologists (ABA) is a professional body of Andrology experts providing training and support for their members. The ABA also works towards the regulation of the profession; one of its recommendations is the use of heated stages for all semen analysis. Linkam manufactures a wide range of warm stages specifically for andrology.
I would like to thank the ABA for such a warm welcome, and a great introduction to their field. We, at Linkam, look forward to working with the ABA on future projects.
By Caroline Feltham