“united by love and some very expensive semen”

Quite a catchy title huh? I read that in “Confessions of the Other Mother” a book I recommended a couple of posts back. Although it is humorous it also rings really true. Unfortunately for us, all the love in the world isn’t going to create a child. Science has not gotten that far. So we need sperm. Lots of very expensive sperm.

How does one go about purchasing sperm you ask. Well…first we needed to figure out what kind of sperm we needed. We needed to check our lab work so our genes combined with the donors wouldn’t create any health defects. Thankfully we can use any sperm donor with no restrictions. Now it just depends on the method in which we want to conceive.

Types of Sperm:

If we were to do an ICI we would purchase ICI sperm. This sperm is washed once to remove basically everything that isn’t semen. It is the least expensive ranging at about $740-$865 a vial. One vial gives you one try.

If we were to do IUI or IVF we would you IUI sperm. This sperm is washed twice and is the most expensive ranging about $840-$965 a vial.

What kindof Donor?:

Now what kind of donor do you want? Anonymous? Open Donor? ID Disclosure. All of these options range in price with anonymous being the least and ID Disclosure being the most expensive. Each options give you and your children different options and pathways should you want them now or in the future.

One thing you should also consider if you hope to have multiple children is do you want the children to all be genetically related. This comes into play for example if we were to use my egg and donor sperm for the first pregnancy and Krystal’s egg for the second. The children would not be genetically related if we didn’t use the same donor. Sperm runs out quickly (surprising I know) and a donor that has 25+ vials available today might have none available tomorrow. So if having your children be genetically related is very important to you then you must buy the sperm for as many cycles as you want to try. For us that magic number is six.


So lets add all this up with a couple of hypotheticals… lets say we needed 6 vials of IUI sperm it would cost the following

Anonymous Donor $840 x 6 = $5040

Open Donor $890 x 6 = $5340

ID Disclosure Donor $965 x 6 = $5790

That doesn’t include storage. The vials you aren’t using have to be stored at the sperm bank till you are ready for them. Storage can range from $400-$500 a year per vial. So if we got pregnant on the first try and didn’t want to try for baby number 2 till the first child was 3 years old the storage fees would be roughly $8300. This doesn’t include shipping either; sperm banks have to ship the vial to your doctor in very specific (expensive) storage devices and for each shipment it is about $200.00.

So what’s the next step for us? We save… we save a lot.

Recently I have been reading a book called Buying Dad: One woman’s search for the perfect sperm donor by Harlyn Aizley. If you can stomach the constant whinning and martyrdom it does a relatively good job of showing the emotional reality of the fertility process.

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