Donor sperm is an excellent option for conception when sperm from a partner is not available. Lack of availability may be because the male partner has a low sperm count or no sperm, stemming from male infertility issues. Availability may also be an issue for single women and same-sex female couples. In these situations, donor sperm can be used to achieve conception.

Donor Sperm Program

illustration shows sperm going to fertilize an egg after the sperm donor process

Before participating in a donor sperm program, it’s essential to have an understanding of the program, how the process works, and what to expect. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the program:

What is donor sperm?

When someone donates his sperm to another person or couple (the intended parent(s)) so that they may use that sperm to try and have a child, it is called donor sperm.

How does the donor sperm process work?

At Advanced Reproductive Center, we do anonymous sperm donation using only the most reputable sperm banks. The donor donates the sperm at the sperm bank, and at that time, the donor is evaluated according to the rules set by the FDA. The sperm is frozen, and then, at least six months later, the donor is reevaluated according to the FDA rules. If the donor passes both sets of evaluations, the sperm can be released for use.

How do I pick a donor?

Once the intended parent(s) are all set to move forward with conception, they can search the donor sperm database and pick a donor who they find appropriate. I tell my patients that they should sit down and make a list of the attributes that are most important to them before searching the sperm bank’s website. This list will be different for everyone as personal interests, intelligence, ethnic background, etc. usually factor into the decision of choosing a donor. Exactly how much emphasis to put on what factor is a very personal decision, with no right or wrong answer.

How is the donor sperm used?

Donor sperm can be used in many different ways depending on the intended parent(s) unique situation. The simplest way to use donor sperm is through intrauterine insemination (IUI), where the donor sperm is placed in the uterus using a catheter. Donor sperm can also be used in cycles where the ovaries are stimulated, such as Clomid or injectable cycles. In some situations, we use donor sperm in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. If we are doing an IVF cycle using donor sperm, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often performed as part of the cycle.

What are the costs of using donor sperm?

The cost of donor sperm varies based on the sperm bank used. A donor sperm sample usually runs around $700 to $1,000. The sperm banks also charge a fee for shipment of the sperm. Our fees are based upon the type of treatment we are using. For example, using donor sperm in an IUI cycle is considerably less expensive than using donor sperm in an IVF and ICSI cycle. Please call us at 312.485.4847 if you have any more questions.