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Many single women and lesbian couples purchase sperm from a sperm bank for artificial insemination. This may be an option for you if you have not got a friend to donate sperm to you or you cannot find a suitable match on an introductory website such as Co-ParentMatch.com . In these circumstances accessing a sperm bank is a great option.
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What is a Sperm Bank?
Sperm Donation at a Sperm Bank
Choosing a Sperm Donor from a Sperm Bank
Thinking of Becoming a Sperm Bank Donor?
Sperm Banks USA
Sperm Banks in the UK
If you are married or partnered it may be that accessing a sperm bank to purchase donor sperm is an option for you. It is estimated that approximately 30% of couples have an infertility problem that is due to the male partner. There have been many advances in recent years in the treatment of male factor infertility, yet there are a number of couples for which these treatments are either inappropriate, or unsuccessful.
The alternative is to consider the use of donor sperm. Sperm donation is one of the most affordable and least invasive methods of infertility treatment. Artificial insemination is used whereby donor sperm is injected directly into the recipient women’s cervix. The donor sperm is often selected and ordered through a Sperm Bank.
What is a Sperm Bank?
Sperm banks are specific clinics where sperm donors provide semen specimens, for Andrology professionals to perform medical procedures for freezing and storing the semen until it is used for artificial insemination.
Sperm banks are also known as Cryobanks. There are estimated to be approximately 150 sperm banks in the United State alone. Often sperm banks are clustered around universities where many young men live who are considered to be intelligent and virile. As a result, as many as 90 percent of all sperm donors are college students.
Sperm donors in the USA can receive from $30 to $90 for each semen sample. The fee in the the UK has recently been increased to around £30 per donation. A sperm donor must pass strict screening procedures and thereafter the donation process is simple.
Sperm Donation at a Sperm Bank
The donation process itself involves walking into a private room, which usually has pornography freely available in the form of DVD’s and magazines, and the donor then masturbates into a sterile container. The sperm sample is collected, sealed in vials and frozen with liquid nitrogen. The frozen semen is stored at -321 degrees F. Sperm must be frozen and stored for a minimum six-month period to ensure against the presence of disease. After this sixth month quarantine period the semen sample may be thawed when needed and used in artificial insemination.
There is no shortage of sperm banks worldwide and all sperm banks will differ in their prices and their availability of donors. All sperm banks will have thorough regulations they must adhere to with regards to donor screening and procedures involved in the preparation of sperm for aided fertility.
Sperm Banks USA
The services provided for sperm donation at a US Cryobank include:
Semen preparation for fertility procedures
Private Sperm Storage
Cryobanks offer a range of reproductive services for those who need help getting pregnant. They can help straight couples, single women, and same-sex couples to become pregnant.
Sperm donation at a Cryobank
Sperm donors are thoroughly screened before being accepted on to the sperm bank donor program. Only a very small percentage of applicants are accepted in the selection process.
Sperm donors are subjected to thorough medical and genetic screening. Donors also have their background and family medical history examined.
Known Sperm Donor Services at a Sperm Bank
Here you can select a known sperm donor from Co-ParentMatch.com and get your fertility treatment through a sperm bank.
Using a Known Donor at a Cryobank
If you know somebody who you wish to be your sperm donor or you have met a donor on Co-ParentMatch.com you can take your donor along to a cryobank where he will have a screening process as would an anonymous donor.
The screening process can take 6-12 months during and your donor will have a consultation, semen analysis and an optional test freeze.
You known donor will complete a physical exam. Known donors are then required to have an initial blood test and retained semen specimen.
The blood test covers general health such as cholesterol, hemoglobin, etc. and infectious disease.
A complete semen analysis, including a post freeze analysis, is performed on the semen specimen.
Your donor will also have a consultation about his family and medical history and genetic testing will be discussed with the donor. Some genetic tests may be required and others will be optional.
Your donor will then be required to make additional semen specimens by appointment.
The standard quarantine period for semen specimens is six months. Following the quarantine period, your donor must complete a final blood test in order to release the sperm specimens.
You can then either pick up the vials at the Cryobank or the sperm bank will have them shipped out.
Cryobanks enable you to:
Have semen analysed
Access fertility treatment with your known donor
Choosing a Sperm Donor from a Cryobank
Choosing to use donor sperm for artificial insemination can bring a whole host of emotions. Sperm donors will have audio interviews and staff impressions to help you choose a donor off the sperm bank list. If you choose a donor from Co-ParentMatch.com you will get to meet that person face to face.
Cryobanks also offers private semen, egg and embryo storage.
Choosing the right sperm bank with one of the most important steps in your life is a big decision.
Choosing a sperm donor is a massive decision and once you have found the right donor you want to be sure of finding a good fertility centre for your treatment.
Sperm donors at a Cryobank must pass fit a certain criteria including:
Height - Must be at least 5'9" or taller
Age - Between 19-38 years old
Education - Attending a 4-year University or holding a Bachelor's or Advanced Degree
Health - Must be in good health
Immigration- Legally allowed to work in the US
Everyone has a different method for selecting a sperm donor and you will all use your own personal combination of search preferences.
If you are looking to select a sperm donor who has a physical resemblance to your partner of family members then you can use a matching service at the Cryobank. The consultants will compare your photograph with the sperm donors they deal with.
The Cryobank will analyze family medical histories of their sperm donor applicants in order to consider any genetic issues that may effect children born as a result of using the donor sperm.
Prices for buying your sperm at a Cryobank
Purchasing donor sperm from the Cryobank - here’s what you can expect to pay:
View child photos of sperm donors $145
Intracervical Insemination $490
Intrauterine Insemination $615
View facial feature reports, donor conversations, Keirsey reports $250
Semen storage $260 to $2,550 (depedning on number of years)
Shipping Costs vary
If you are using an anonymous donor you can collect the semen vials in person which helps to avoid expensive shipping costs.
Having a second child with a Cryobank
If you decide to have another child with your sperm donor you may already have some vials frozen at your sperm bank or fertility clinic. If your original donor is no longer available there are likely to be significant additional fees to order further sperm.
Cryobanks will help families in every part of the process of choosing a sperm donor and helping you conceive.
Once you have found your donor and become pregnant sperm banks will often keep you informed with any updates on your donor. You will be joining donor families from around the world and may find that your child has siblings. There are sibling networks available for children born from sperm donors and this maybe something you wish to explore.
Children born through donor insemination are a blessing to their parents who have often planned this for many years. Their arrival brings much gratitude and love.
Donor children may ask information about their conception. They may have questions about their biological parents or their siblings. Your sperm bank can help with this through a sibling registry system.
If you choose to take part in sibling registry you will have access to information about births of potential siblings including profiles and email contact.
Many couples go through the heartache of being informed by their sperm bank that their donor is no longer available and no further vials of sperm can be used to create a sibling for your child.
Sperm banks offer a vial buy back scheme where by if you purchase more vials than you need and do not use them the sperm bank will buy these vials back at 50% of the cost which is some compensation.
This type of scheme will help to keep your options open should you consider having further pregnancies from your sperm donor.
Cryobanks also offers the flexibility of exchanging your vials for any other sperm donor should you wish to swap donors.
Examples of some US Sperm Banks:
Fertility Center of California
Options National Fertility Register
Pacific Fertility Center
Pacific Reproductive Services
Rainbow Flag Health Services
The Sperm Bank of California
Xytex Sperm Bank
Sperm Banks Colorado
CryoGam Colorado, Inc.
Sperm Banks Georgia
Paces Cryobank and Infertility Services
Sperm Banks Illinois
UIC University Andrology Laboratory
Sperm Banks Indiana
Follas Laboratories, Inc.
Sperm Banks Louisiana
The Fertility Institute
Sperm Banks Massachusetts
New England Cryogenic
Sperm Banks Minnesota
Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc.
New England Cryogenic
Sperm Banks New Jersey
Sperm Banks New York
New York Scandinavian Cryobank
Idant Laboratories Division (DAXOR)
Repro Lab, Inc
Sperm Banks Oregon
Oregon Health Sciences University
Sperm Banks Virginia
Sperm Banks Washington
Northwest Andrology & Cryobank Inc.
Sperm Banks in the UK
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authorityis the UK's independent regulator overseeing the use of gametes and embryos in fertility treatment and research.
The HFEA licenses fertility clinics and centres carrying out in vitro fertilisation(IVF), other assisted conception procedures and human embryo research.
How Anonymity works with the HFEA register
The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) keeps a confidential register of information about donors, patients and treatments. The register was set up on 1st August 1991 and contains information concerning children conceived from licensed treatments from that date onwards.
From 2008 people aged 16+ contemplating marriage, or those over 18 who ask the HFEA, will be told whether or not they were born as a result of licensed assisted conception treatment and if so, whether they are related to the person they want to marry. As the law now stands (ie, as at April 2008) for children conceived before April 1st 2005 that is the only information that will be disclosed by the HFEA.
From 1st April 2005, the HFEA has, however, required all gamete donors to provide identifying information. This information will enable the HFEA to inform a donor in the future of any enquiries made by a child that has been born following a donation when that child reaches the age of 18. The HFEA will not disclose any information without first contacting the donor.
Donor-conceived siblings can contact each other with the help of the HFEA
Donor conceived people will be able to get in touch with others who share the same donor, their genetic siblings, through a new service launched by the HumanFertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in April 2010.
Around 2,000 people are born each year as a result of the donation of sperm, eggs or embryos. Since the launch of the HFEA in August 1991 around 36,000 donor conceived people have been born following treatment at a HFEA licensed centre.
Anyone conceived through donor conception treatment, and who has turned 18 years old, will be able to join Donor Sibling Link (DSL), to find out if there are other people who share the same donor. If there are, they will be able to choose to exchange their contact details if they wish to.
DSL will only put people in touch with each other if they consent to sharing their contact information. Only donor-conceived siblings will be able to share information, it will not be available to others including their own parents or other family members. Donor conceived people will also be able to opt out at any point.
Prof Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA, said:
"Donor conceived people all have their own individual views on this. Many I know put huge value on knowing they have donor conceived siblings. Sharing your experiences with someone in the same position as you can be very worthwhile and people will have their own reasons for wanting to make contact. The great thing is they now have the opportunity to do so, and the choice will be theirs".
Olivia Montuschi, co-founder of the Donor Conception Network said:
“Our experience has shown that donor conceived young people are much more interested in half siblings than they are in their donor. We think that this is a wonderful service to help those people get in touch with each other.”
Sperm Banks UK
The Bridge Center Sperm Donation Program
London Sperm Bank
Sperm Banks Australia
Sperm Banks Canada
Sperm Banks Denmark
Cryos International Sperm Bank Ltd.
European Sperm Bank