The Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital will probably advertise for sperm donations at universities from September in an effort to help couples in need, its leading obstetrician said yesterday. Milton Leong Ka-hong, the hospital's IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) Centre director, said promotion was needed as few men were willing to give sperm even though such donations were always anonymous. 'Many women don't like their husbands or boyfriends giving sperm,' he said. 'They're afraid that some day a stranger will come up with a kid and tell the donor that the child is his.' Dr Leong said that in foreign countries most sperm donors were university students but 'students in Hong Kong are not so interested'. He said the hospital would wait until September to launch a promotion at university dormitories as staff were now setting up the expanded IVF Centre. The private hospital in Happy Valley has been running a sperm bank since the Family Planning Association closed what had been the city's only one in January. 'We can't discontinue the service,' Dr Leong said. 'We must carry on out of social responsibility.' The Council on Human Reproductive Technology has authorised the hospital to carry out artificial insemination treatment. Dr Leong said the hospital welcomed sperm donations any time and would offer HK$300 to HK$500 to cover donors' travel expenses. Sperm donors have to be healthy men aged between 18 and 55, according to the council. The 24 couples who were preparing for or undergoing artificial insemination treatment in January at the association would continue their treatment at the hospital, paying the same charge as they had to the association, hospital assistant medical superintendent Joseph Chan Woon-tong said. The association used to charge HK$1,500 for each artificial insemination. Its semen stock would also be transferred next month when the hospital's expanded IVF Centre was ready, an association spokeswoman said. Association figures show that 47 men donated semen last year, compared with 129 donors in 2002. The spokeswoman said the semen stock would be enough for the 24 couples to finish their treatment, but there would be none left over. Dr Leong said the hospital had expanded the centre in view of surging demand for IVF services. The number of couples receiving treatment jumped from about 300 in 2003 to more than 900 last year. Dr Leong expected the new centre could help about 2,000 couples a year with in vitro fertilisation.