There are lots of questions I receive over and over again and I wanted to take a few minutes to get some answers in a post. The information I am giving you is based on my experience in the past 4 years in the Midwest. Of course, figures will vary, but, this should give you a pretty good idea.
First, how much does sperm cost? In absolute terms: A LOT. In terms of this being a key piece you need to get pregnant: worth every penny. I paid between $800-900 per washed sperm vial (one vial per IUI). This included the washed sperm (unwashed is less expensive, but most fertility clinics require washed samples), and shipping costs (which run between $150-200). Here are a few things I learned in the process of purchasing donor sperm:
* All of the sperm banks I considered (and most of the sperm banks in operation) provide detailed profiles including medical information and medical screenings. Of course, everyone wants to know what their donor’s medical history is. Having the medical information provides some peace of mind. Keep in mind, however, that some of that history is self reported so it is only what the donor tells the sperm bank. Virtually all sperm banks conduct tests for disease. Some also provide additional screenings that you might not be aware of. For example, when I went through genetic testing during my second trimester, my doctor identified that I had a gene for a particular disease. He told me that the baby only had a chance of developing the disease if the father also carried the gene. Of course, I was quite worried because I didn’t have the donor’s information about this gene. I figured it was worth a try to call the sperm bank to ask if they had any information. To my shock, they did! They faxed the results over to my doctor immediately. The donor did not carry the gene and my baby did not have a risk. I was amazed and impressed. And immensely relieved.
* There are sperm banks that offer donor photos. I have heard so many people (even women who have used donor sperm) report that “you don’t know what the donor looks like.” People are clearly not well informed about this. There are many sperm banks that offer donor photos, some including an array of photos from both childhood and adulthood. There is generally an extra charge for more photos, but that feature is available in some sperm banks. This was important to me, so I only considered sperm banks that offered photos of the donor.
* Shipping costs are expensive. The vial(s) are shipped in dry ice in a canister which needs to be returned to the sperm bank within a certain timeframe. You pay for that shipping which is either one or two day shipping to get the vial to your clinic. Expensive but worth it.
I hope you found this information helpful. In the next post, I will discuss the costs of IUI. Thanks for reading. Wishing you baby blessings and happiness.