6. We are BUYING sperm
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Sheesh! I certainly never thought I'd be doing that! I still gawk when I say it out loud.
Anywho, we ended up having the customer representative purchase vials on our behalf. A lot of folks have asked questions about this process. They've asked specifically about the cost and insurance coverage, so I figured I'd share some information about it.
Every donor's profile page has a shopping cart. So you can basically purchase sperm in the same way you buy items on Amazon. However, there are many considerations to make and paperwork required before you can click "add to cart".
What do we need to complete a purchase?
The California Cryobank (CCB) outlines everything required on their site on the Ordering and Shipment and Purchasing FAQs pages. But to simplify, we needed to complete two forms, a Personal Information form and a Donor Semen Services Agreement.
We also had to consider storage. Surprisingly, you can’t just have these spermies delivered to your house and put in the fridge. These suckers require a very specific storage environment. You can have them stored at the Cryobank or elsewhere. We chose to have them stored at the Cryobank because of their incentives. If you purchase a certain amount, you can pay less for storage. They also have a buyback option. This means that for the vials that are stored at the Cryobank that we purchased but don't need to use, we can sell them back to the Cryobank for half price. Woot! Woot!
How many vials to get?
CCB has a Family Today Family Tomorrow program that accounts for consumers buying multiple vials. The CCB recommends 4 vials per pregnancy because on average it takes 3-4 insemination procedures to be successful. Also, physicians may need 1-2 vials per procedure. We confirmed with our fertility specialist we would need 1 vial per procedure.
To figure out how many vials we should get, we put the facts together. We know that we each want to carry at least one child and we want our children to have the same donor. In order to give us each a chance, knowing it might not happen on the first try, we planned to get 12 vials.
How much does it cost and what does insurance cover?
In terms of price, it don't come cheap! At the two Cryobanks we considered, each vial ranged from $800 - $1100 dollars. In our case, purchasing and storing sperm are not covered by insurance but the majority of procedures are covered once we hit our deductible. Our insurance also covers more invasive procedures (such as IVF) if we aren’t successful after 6 rounds of IUI.