Choosing a Known or Unknown Sperm Donor

What to consider when choosing a known or unknown sperm donor


Using Sperm from a Known Donor
If you are planning to use sperm from a known donor, please allow for the fact that federal regulations require sperm to be quarantined for 6 months, the period necessary to rule out the presence of infectious disease. In May 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new regulations which govern eligibility determination for donors of human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products. According to FDA regulations, a potential sperm donor must be tested for a specified panel of infectious diseases prior to collection and freezing of sperm intended for donation.

After the frozen sperm has been quarantined for 6 months, the sperm donor must be re-tested for infectious diseases. If the second set of tests is also negative for infectious diseases, the quarantined sperm is then allowed to be released for donation. If you choose to use a known donor, you must make arrangements for necessary testing of your chosen sperm donor as well as the cost of freezing his sperm with the sperm banking facility of your choice.

FDA regulations provide the option to use freshly collected donor sperm, but in that situation, the known donor is required to have the complete set of infectious disease testing done within seven (7) days of collection of the semen specimen that is being used. This means that if the first insemination treatment is unsuccessful, and more inseminations are required, the donor has to undergo repeated infectious disease testing until the treatment is successful.

This strategy is very costly, given that the cost of doing the entire panel of infectious disease testing is over $1,000 each time. In addition, at Boston IVF, the recipient of a fresh sample from a known sperm donor is charged a $4,300 administration fee up front to cover all of the screening. The $4,300 admin fee (non-refundable) covers all of the donor’s tests and repeat tests within a 12 month period. If they pick a new donor it would be another $4,300.

Using Sperm from an Unknown Donor
Sperm available through a sperm bank has already gone through quarantine and necessary testing and can be used immediately. Sperm banks offer information about each donor to assist in your selection. A sperm donor must be selected early in the treatment cycle to allow enough time for shipment to Boston IVF.

Frozen Donor Sperm at Significant Savings
Boston IVF and the Seattle Sperm Bank have collaborated to provide, for our patients, a diverse selection of donor sperm at a cost that is much lower than other sperm banks. Boston IVF patients receive a savings up to $200 or 25% less per sample. Anyone interested in this service must be seen by a Boston IVF physician.

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Choosing a Known or Unknown Sperm Donor
What to consider when choosing a known or unknown sperm donor