Controversial Scottish Government campaigns encouraging women to donate their eggs have had limited success, new figures show.

Just ten women came forward as a result of the £135,999.24 advertising push in 2021 and 2022.

The adverts also encouraged just six men to donate sperm.

READ MORE: Scottish Government defends 'appalling' £186k egg donor drive

The figures were obtained by Helen Gibson, the founder of the Surrogacy Concern group. She said the Scottish Government needed to “drop this campaign and not repeat it".

However, the government insisted that with more than 200 people waiting for a donor in Scotland the marketing drive is necessary to hike the number of altruistic donations.

There have been three phases of the campaign so far, with the figures released to Surrogacy Concern relating to the first two.

Data for the most recent push, in October last year during National Fertility Week, has not yet been released.

To be eligible to donate eggs the donor needs to be aged between 18 and 35 and be able to commit to the programme for about three months.

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The digital campaign featured animated visuals of an egg and sperm joining together to spell out optimistic words such as Joy, Love and Hope.

Key messages included telling potential donors that they "could give the joy of starting a family to those who need help becoming parents" and that "NHS Scotland needs egg and sperm donors for those who need your help to create a loving family".

However, the adverts have been criticised for underplaying some of the risks and side effects involved with egg retrieval, including bleeding and infection.

Some women may develop severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, an adverse reaction to hormone medications that stimulate egg production.

Ms Gibson said: "These low figures show how few people want to come forward to undergo egg retrieval and sperm donation.

"It's shocking that £135,999.24 of public money was spent on these first two iterations of this advertising campaign, which did not list health risks.

"Preying on young people for their gametes is unacceptable, and not an action the state should be undertaking. We urge the Scottish Government to drop this campaign and not repeat it".

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There is a shortage of egg and sperm donors across the UK and the Scottish Government, in partnership with NHS Scotland, launched the recent national donor gamete campaigns to help alleviate this shortage.

"Gamete donations from the recent donor campaigns will help create much wanted families for those receiving NHS IVF treatment.

“All donations are altruistic and are made through a desire to support those who need help becoming parents.

"All potential donors within NHS Scotland receive mandatory counselling, and the four NHS Assisted Conception Units (ACU’s) give prospective donors accessible and up-to-date information to enable them to make informed decisions about any consent they then provide.

"This is a thorough process, and it takes months to reach the point of donation.”