By SpermCenter - Posted on September 9th, 2009
Wed, 2009-09-09 19:05 | SpermCenter
Semen specimens are usually sold in vials or units. One vial/unit is enough for a single insemination. The cost varies depending on whether you want standard (ICI/cervical insemination), prewashed (IUI/uterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
Prewashed costs a little more, typically $50-150 more per unit, but may offer a better chance of pregnancy because the sperm are inserted directly into the uterus.
IVF is cheapest. Most labs/clinics can wash semen for you (for a fee), so if you find a donor you like, you can probably have his sperm washed for IUI if it isn't already. Unwashed vials typically range from $100-$400 per vial.
Some sperm banks have "doctorate" or "professional" programs in which they charge more for semen from donors with a professional degree (doctor, lawyer, PhD, etc).
Some banks charge more for "Identity Release" or "Open donor" specimens, meaning sperm from donors who are willing to have their identities revealed, usually when the child is 18 or older—but often so-called "identity release" is no more than a promise to try to contact the donor when your child turns 18.
Unless otherwise specified, all donors are anonymous.
True open donor specimens, where you learn the donor's identity now (before insemination) are much more expensive, typically several thousand dollars per vial.
Many sperm banks sell various kinds of information about donors, ranging from short profiles (height, weight, race, education, etc) which are usually free, all the way up in some cases to personal visits with the donor, which can run thousands of dollars.
You can pay for baby photos, detailed genetic/health information, written essays, staff interviews, psychological profiles, audio tapes and so on.
Since sperm requires special freezing, it costs more to ship than books or furniture. The cost ranges from free to over $200 and varies depending on where the semen must be shipped, how soon you want it, whether you need Saturday delivery and so on.
Some banks offer different freezing options such as dry ice or liquid nitrogen. (Semen remains viable up to a week shipped in liquid nitrogen, but only a couple of days with dry ice).
For liquid nitrogen, a special tank is required and most banks require a refundable tank deposit in case you lose or damage the tank. Some charge a daily rental fee if you're late returning the tank. If the bank/clinic is local, you may be able to avoid shipping charges by picking up the vials yourself.
Sperm banks often provide special services such as donor consultations (to help you pick a donor), photo matching (if you provide a photo of yourself or partner, they'll try to find a donor with similar appearance) and genetic consultations to help you identify specific genetic/health issues that may be relevant in your case. Typically, these services are billed at an hourly rate.
Some banks charge a fee if you cancel or change your order on short notice, or fail to return their tank. Before purchasing donor sperm, ask the bank to describe any special fees or charges that may apply.