High Price of Sperm Banks

The costs of getting help to conceive are prompting some women to turn to an unconventional donor source: the Internet.


The economic hard times in the U.S. have hit every aspect of life—including the cost of sperm needed in assisted reproduction. That's right, "the price of sperm is going up," according to a news report on Yahoo! Shine.

The price of in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproduction methods can be quite pricey in the U.S. According to a Newsweek report, IVF clinics charge $10,000 to $15,000 per treatment. In some cases, women turn to donor banks for eggs or sperm. "On average, donor banks charge $2,000 for a [sperm] sample," Yahoo! Shine reports.

The costs start adding up. So, like almost everything else in life, people are turning to the Internet, where free donor banks have set up shop.

On Friday, ABC's "20/20" will air a segment called the "Unusual Quest for Motherhood," which features the story of a woman who turned to a free online sperm bank "after spending $70,000 in failed pregnancy attempts."

The show takes a look at these free registries, "where it's up to the sperm donors to disclose medical reports, family histories and personal profiles." The donor banks are trying to make the process easier for people having troubles conceiving, but they're also adding new complications. For example, how do you make the exchange? And what about decisions to make contact with the child later on? And what about success rates?

The Yahoo! article poses an honest question: Is it a good idea to make a baby with a total stranger you just met online?

Last month, the FDA sent a letter to sperm donor who was highlighted recently in the news for fathering 14 children to women he meets through this website offering free donations, The Associated Press reports. The FDA is accusing the San Francisco-area man of failing to follow the "agency's requirements for getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases" within seven days before before donating.

In our article, I Used An Egg Donor, one of our Fit Pregnancy writers shares her experience with assisted reproduction and how processes like adoption and IVF are openly discussed—but not egg donors!

Also, check out our A Helping Hand page for what to do and when if attempts to get pregnant on your own aren't working.