Assisted Reproduction Using Donor Sperm
Lesbian and F to M transgender individuals are most likely to use donor sperm for IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization). Couples considering donor sperm often ask about having a male friend provide his sperm for insemination. Often it is thought that using a friend or known donor will be less costly than using frozen sperm from an anonymous donor. There are, however, a number of considerations to be aware of.
Using Sperm from a Known Donor
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 the 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 testing of your chosen sperm donor for infectious diseases and freezing of his sperm with a sperm banking facility.
FDA regulations provide the option to use freshly collected donor sperm, but in that situation, the known donor is required to have a 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 known sperm donor has to undergo repeated infectious disease testing until the treatment is successful.
This strategy is not practical because it is very costly, given that the cost of doing the entire panel of infectious disease testing is over $1,000 each time. In addition, 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.
Anonymous Sperm 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 you in your selection. A sperm donor must be selected early in the treatment cycle to allow enough time for shipment to IVF New England.
Frozen Donor Sperm at Significant Savings
IVF New England, 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. IVFNE patients receive a savings up to $200 or 25% less per sample. Anyone interested in this service must be seen by an IVF New England physician.