The Costs of Sperm Banking (And How We Saved Money On It)

It’s a pretty awkward financial topic today guys. Feel free to read this under the guise of night.

I told my husband yesterday morning that I was planning to write an article about our plan to freeze his little spermies. He gave me the saddest puppy face, rested his head on the edge of the bed for 2 minutes, looked up, and financially agreed.

 

He asked, “Is that related to personal finance?”

I said, “Well it’s personal and it has the word ‘banking’ in it!”

I wouldn’t say this topic is a specialization of mine. But I did look into tons of research on it for me and my husband.

I went to a board game themed dinner gathering with some of my husband’s coworkers.

Something I remarked about this crowd…because I’m creepy, in a group of 14 or so intelligent, well off, board game-loving adults in their 30s…none of them had children or even close to considering it as anything but in the far distance.

They were all around my husband’s age of 32. Research has shown that the quality of sperm declines quicker and quicker as you age. A reproductive peak in both genders is around older teen to your late 20s.

I bought up the subject of freezing sperm when my husband was 28 but he was more reluctant at the time.

I was reluctant about being a mom so soon. I wanted to wait but he was older than me by 4 years. Now that he is feeling the sting of 30, I asked again earlier this week and he agreed.

Is sperm or egg banking effective?

In average, a person who tries to get pregnant out of donor insemination has 60 to 80 percent chance of getting pregnant. Patients who use their preserved semen have a 36.4 percent of achieving pregnancy through intrauterine insemination (IUI) and 50 percent through in-vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Is sperm banking worth the cost?

The success rate of sperm banking is quite high but the procedure can run up to $375 to $435 per insemination attempt.  This is not to mention that a typical IVF would cost around $12, 000 to $15,000 which can really add up to the cost. On the other hand, IUI costs $895 but may run up to $3,000 per cycle if you need an intensive care.

Whether sperm banking is worth the cost depends on how successful the insemination is. For anyone who wants to have a family, sperm banking is your last best option at getting pregnant no matter how expensive it is.

It is best to talk with your partner about the emotional and financial consequences before banking your sperm and pursuing an insemination.

How much is a 10 year or 20-year sperm storage?

The average cost of sperm banking ranges from $300 to $4000 excluding any fees for the necessary laboratory processes and artificial insemination. The following are popular sperm storage banks and their corresponding fees.

Fairfax Cryobank

Fairfax Cryobank is the second largest sperm storage facility based in the US. It offers sperm banking services starting from $40 for a month to $2,400 for 10 years. The laboratory fees range between $300 and $700 – this includes disease testing, semen analysis, blood panel and semen handling.

The Sperm Bank of California

The Sperm Bank of California is a non-profit sperm bank based in Berkeley which is a go-to sperm storage facility for adults who want to conceive through sperm donor. It also offers sperm banking for an initial storage fee of $1,100 to $1, 300 with an increment of $250 (for one sperm specimen) and $450 (for two sperm specimen) per year in the succeeding years.

Xytex

Xytex is another sperm bank that use innovative technology in storing its sperm. While there is no record whether their unique methods increase fertility, they offer a 7-day premium free access for new patients. Their month-long storage cost $75 while annual storage costs $360 billed in advance annually. Other miscellaneous fees range between $75 and $150.

NW Cryobank

NW Cryobank claims to be one of the nation’s leading sperm banks that allow offshore clients to ship their sample specimen for storage. Shipping fee ranges from $85 to $245 depending on the location and courier. The storage fee is $385 for one year, $1,085 for three years, and $1, 585.

New England Cryogenic (NECC)

New England Cryogenic (NECC) is an FDA-accredited sperm bank that is based in Massachusetts. It offers annual storage for $675 with the first three months being free. Long term storage is available for 5 years at $1,650 excluding other ongoing fees.

Seattle Sperm Bank

Seattle sperm bank is another US-based sperm storage facility with an open ID donor program that lets sperm donors contact their kids upon reaching 18 years old. They offer a monthly storage for $100 and $350 for annual storage. Long term storage is also available for 5 years at $1000.

Do some people have more success than others?

Depending on factors like age and fertility status, you may or may not get pregnant at first try. Other people may even take several attempts before conceiving for the first time. If your partner has a low sperm count the chance of getting pregnant is relatively lower.

Your chance of getting pregnant also increases by the number of sperm you store. It is highly recommended that you store at least three to six specimens. More samples allow more insemination attempts, which means your chances of getting pregnant also increases.

Who is perfect for sperm banking?

Sperm banking is ideal for the following persons.

·         Cancer patients who want to have kids in the future after having a treatment that may cause infertility such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

·         Couples with fertility issues who plan on undergoing artificial insemination to conceive such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

·         Young couples who want to preserve their sperm or egg for use in the future.

·         Couples who want to postpone having kids until they reach 45 to 60 years old and plan on having a surrogate.

·         Any person who wants to donate his sperm for other people. Sperm donors earn up to $70 for each donation considering they have passed the necessary tests.

Who shouldn’t freeze sperm?

The following persons are disqualified from storing or donating their sperm sample.

Men and women who are suffering from contagious diseases like AIDS or HIV. If you have visited areas with a high risk of AIDS/HIV cases, you may be disqualified from banking your sperm.·Any person who has a history of drug addiction and has used intravenous method regardless of health status.

How to save money on sperm banking

If there are any ways to save money?

Sperm banking is undeniably expensive. But there are a number of ways you can save. For example, you can store your sperm at a reduced rate if you opt for a long-term storage. An average monthly storage costs $40 to $80 while five-year storage costs around $1000 to $1,650. If you choose the latter, you will be able to save $1000 to $2, 350.

The number of samples will also influence the cost and storage fees. The average cost for each additional sample is between $150 and $300. You can save by giving only one sample unless you’re suffering from low sperm count then you may be required to give more than one sample.
Some sperm banks also offer 5% to 20% discount for cancer patients. People who are suffering from infertility issues may also get 5% to 10% on fertility drugs. You need to check with some local NGOs in your area to avail this benefit.

You might also want to check whether your insurance cover the cost of sperm banking as part of infertility treatment. Currently there are 15 states that require coverage for this type of treatment such as Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Road Island, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Some employers, like my husband’s company, offers incentives for reproduction services such as sperm banking.

Tech companies like Facebook and Apple are offering ‘financial aid’ (aka extra incentive) to working women who wanted to freeze their eggs. That’s kind of cool I think!

Harvesting and storing female eggs is much more expensive than sperm.

But storing sperm does still cost money. It’s not ultra-expensive but it is a cost.

The original depositing trips will be treated on paper like a normal doctor visit and will be free after copay.

We also found out my husband’s employer offered 3 years of free sperm storage, after that it will be out of our pockets.

It’s not a tremendous perk but it’s something to save money. It costs about $400 per year for sperm storage in our local area so technically this perk will save us $1,200. Not bad!

Is it worth the trouble?

That’s a very personal question. Are you asking me? Because I’m going to say yes!!!!!!!!

I’m the girl and I don’t have to do anything. My poor husband will turn into that familiar shade of raspberry when he gets to the lab but he will just have to get over it.

Besides the joy of torturing my husband and all at the same time showing tender loving appreciation for his genes and wanting to preserve him forever…yes I think it’s a small price for a backup plan.

Wait, what do girls have to do?

I’m not going to be participating in any of this nonsense but I watched a part of the video on the female egg process and it’s not as pleasant as the dude’s process of donating sperm. The female reproductive system is a little more cryptic.

When the video said, “they will stick a sharp extraction needle up your…” I was done. Good-bye, good luck with that.

You betterize that science in a decade and maybe more girls will play ball. Eeesh.

References

https://www.allianceforfertilitypreservation.org/options-for-men/sperm-banking

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17647219

http://web.stanford.edu/class/siw198q/websites/reprotech/New%20Ways%20of%20Making%20Babies/spermint.htm

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/physically/sex/men/sperm-banking



32 thoughts on “The Costs of Sperm Banking (And How We Saved Money On It)”

    • Do it Olivia!! It’s free! I didn’t mention they do put you down a bit to sleep during the extraction so at least there’s that!!

      The cost really really really doesn’t matter to me. Even $100k isn’t ridiculous and I’m willing to part with it. Hell, take my house too! Plus our money brings me no joy and I said there’s literally nothing I want that’s physical.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Lily! That sounds really expensive to freeze sperms. I would never have known.

    Mr. FAF is turning 36 this year, and I’m worried about his sperm quality too. I wouldn’t be if he didn’t keep saying he wants a third kid. I’m also starting to worry about my egg quality since I’m turning 31 this year.

    Please have your own bio kid. More people love and adore you than you might realize. Mixed kids are really cute. Can’t wait to meet yours one day! 😉
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…Which Business Model To Pursue: Amazon FBA, eBay or Etsy?

    • It was more than I thought too but oh well, it’s very much required.

      36 applies to women (I think that’s the medical cut off for needing extra tests). For men I think the generous caution is 40+ because there are double the genetic mutations in sperm than someone in their 20s. You two are fine and 30s is usually the modern best age because it’s a compromise between biology and finance.

      Don’t worry FAF, I can just steal some other asian lady’s eggs and lie it’s mine 🙂

  • Fiance is five years older than me and is in his early 30s, but we’re not worried about freezing his sperm. His parents had him when his dad was 45ish and his mom was 40ish and we’re planning on kids well before that. I have considered donating my eggs, but after reading up on the process it seems like there’s a non-trivial likelihood of some really painful complications. So, uh, not doing that.

    Have you and Jared talked about whether you want to have kids at all, biological or otherwise? And if so what sort of timeline you’re thinking about? Is having non-biological kids (non-Lily, non-Jared, or both) a deal breaker for him? Is having biological kids a deal breaker for you?

    Also, you don’t need to have a reason for not wanting to have biological children (your body, your life, your choices), but you should know you are plenty worthy of biological children if that’s something you ever did want.

    • I kept reading finance for some reason instead of fiance! Lol!!

      You SHOULD donate your eggs! I don’t think it hurts, they put you to sleep I think. The concept is just a bit awkward.

      My husband’s dad had him when he was 41 which I consider pretty old. Hippo had some complications but it all turned out OK. I was born to older parents but mainly because they met later in life and had fertility issues. I think I might have the same issues, not that I care, I still prefer someone else’s egg above all.

      Yes we talked about kids and agreed we achieve financial independence before kids come. But I never specified that they needed to be biologically mine. But I DO absolutely care that they need to be my husbands. It’s not a deal breaker but I told him, if you want me to be happy, you should have a kid with someone else.

      We talked about fostering adult kids who are on the danger of aging out of the system but that’s less to do with adopting children. I just want to try to get an older teen set on at least a semi-stable footing.

  • We had a kid when we were both 36. I think that’s okay for guys, but pushing it for women. You guys probably can wait 5 more years before freezing the sperms. I need to research more.
    Alternatively, you can adopt a kid. I think that’s even better. You don’t have to deal with the biological aspect at all and really help someone.
    Joe @ Retire by 40 recently posted…Why I’m Hiring Our Kid as an Employee

    • I wanted to foster older teens when hubby and I got older. That was one thing on my bucket list. And I am fine with adopting (and I’ve looked into it plenty of times) but I really do want my husband’s DNA. He should have a child of his own, I don’t want to disturb that just because I don’t want own biological kids.

    • Freddy is fiddy? Haha sorry, couldn’t resist. I’m still learning about myself but I would like my husband to live on though. What a dilemma…

  • *looks around* I think PiC and I are the oldest couple here, then. We are a combined 76 years old but we’ve also got quite a few years between us. Maybe a second kid would be a disaster on a genetic level.

    So if I’m reading this right, you don’t think your genes are worth passing on, or you don’t want to deal with any of the carrying of a child (TOTALLY legit pregnancy is hard!)? Or is it that you need to be what you define as successful first before you maybe have a kid but probably not bio?

    I can really sympathize on the genetics front. I’m watching JB closely for any of the many horrible things that runs in my family. I’ve told PiC that his genes better carry the day on the mental health part while ze is much better off with my eyesight, dental health, and stubbornness. So far, ze exhibits three generations of stubborn so. Uh. Yay?
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…Just a little (link) love: dragons edition

    • You touched on all 3 Rev. I don’t think I’ve done anything or offer anything to be passed unless I did do something I consider remarkable. Even then, I’m not too happy with the biological process when we have disposable income to make this discomfort simply go away with another’s egg and biology.

      I’m also worried what lurks from my parents, everyone knows I’m not a fan of my father. He is….a character. I grew up feeling particularly different from my parents and I thought that was a teenage thing to experience but I’m 26 now and the feelings have gotten worst.

      • I see. Here’s an interesting thought – how hard is it for kids to live up to remarkable parents? And is it fair to require them to do so? It seems to be the accepted corollary to having to do something remarkable to be worth becoming a parent. I wouldn’t say that either of my parents have done anything spectacular, in the grand scheme of things but I’m a pretty awesome person ;), and in the universe, I’m nothing spectacular either but JB is pretty delightful. And terrible. And great. And terrible. 🙂

        Any and all reasons not to do it is valid, in my book, but I like mulling over why we think what we think.

        Actually, I don’t think I knew you weren’t a fan of your dad’s. Perhaps I was misled by his living with you? Likewise, I’m definitely not a fan of mine either.
        Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…The fun we had: Winter 2018

        • Crap I thought I dreamt this comment. Brilliant. There is the regression to the mean – that children do not inherit the talents of their parents (seen in so many musicians.)

          I think you’re awesome too Rev!

          I really did not like him growing up but he was in a bad mental state (shitty life in general) – after he retired he mellowed out. We’re not friends but I can stand him more now. I accepted he wasn’t the dream father for any child, what’s there to say, he was so disadvantaged in every way. All I know is I got my Hippo who is going to be the PERFECT father. All good. Wounds healed!!

  • Will you worry that Hippo will find out on your plan? If he loves as you are and want his biological kids, I’d guess he wants the baby with your genes as well. Will he be sad if he find out about your plan? My husband and I have decided for a while that we don’t want kids period. The only slight thought around it is I will forever wonder is how cute our baby be since many people say mix babies are really cute. (But I have also seen first hand some not-so-cute mix grown-ups).
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    • LOL you know I actually had this tab open when I went to the bathroom and I came back to him staring at the screen. So maybe he read your comment or was really just cleaning the desk. A lot of people do say mix kids are cute, I’m sure some are but that’s maybe 20% of my concern. I think I would just project my self-disdain and expectations onto them and that’s not really good for any kid. If I don’t sort it out then I shouldn’t have kids.

  • We had Baby with Cents when we were in our mid 30s and that is pushing it for Mother with Cents. You two can adopt if you guys can’t come to an agreement about who will be carrying the baby during pregnancy. Adoption is a great option, there are plenty of babies out there that are waiting for someone to take good care of them.
    Kris recently posted…Developmental Checklist for Our Two Year Old

    • I want the child to have my husband’s DNA because he is certainly smart and good for humanity to have. Otherwise, I look more towards fostering adult orphans than children if I was adopting.

  • Please have your own children genetically with your husband if you want them- you are beautiful, successful, creative, and smart!! Give yourself some more credit 🙂 When you look into your baby’s eyes and you see a bit of yourself in them it is the most beautiful thing.

    That’s really interesting that Google pays for sperm banking! Though my unsolicited two cents, he’s very young (30) I don’t think you need to worry about it. Fertility in males doesn’t really decrease in the 30’s as much as it does for females in their mid to late 30’s. My husband is in his 40’s and I am in my 30’s. Revanche- My husband and I are 77 cumulatively lol!
    GYM recently posted…PF Blog Round Up: Canadian PF Blogger Edition

    • I don’t want to see myself in anyone, even in my mind I don’t like to think of myself as me. I’m always someone else.

      I think 30 is on the edge of teetering, that’s why I want him to get it done by the end of summer. Sperm quality decline is progressive so I hear time ticking more than just the sounds of years passing by x(

  • Hi Lily, I love how you are so open and happy to share personal things. I’d never thought sperm freezing was a real thing, as we keep hearing stories of older dads like Mike Jagger etc.

    And also to say I think you are successful, and you would make a wonderful parent – I don’t think you need to wait to reach some arbitrary success goals.
    Ms ZiYou recently posted…10 things I do not buy

    • Haha oh yes Sir Jagger…
      I think the self-hatred would be toxic if I did have a child. I think it’s safer for them to be someone else than me. I felt like this since as long as I’ve held memory and consciousness.

  • I went to go read your most current post, and then found myself clicking all over your blog! (Thank you for linking your content…it makes deep creeping so much easier).

    In all seriousness though, I really wish these options were discussed when I was in my 20s. We had plans. But I’d advise be able to be malleable. We either wanted to be DINKs, or have more than 1 kid. Here I am, mid 30s, Mr. DS is later 30s, and we have ONE kid. And we are struggling having kiddo #2. My first I had at 28. Poof! Easy Peasy! Stork just flew that one right in!

    My sis had 4 kids before 30. My grandma had 6 before 30. After going through what I have/am going through – I encourage people to reproduce as early as they can! If there’s a way to freeze time, I’m pro it! Pretty sure my sister would also happily be your egg donor…she’s already volunteered for me (I’m not taking her up on it!)…1). That’d be tooo weird. 2). She would hold that over my head FOREVER. 3). Hubby says, “Ummm No…” <– edited version.

    Thanks for sharing this – I would have my hubby's baby gravy frozen and tied with someone else if I could get him to buy into it too!

  • I feeeel so old saying this. So Old.
    Your eggs will never be as good as they are right now. Literally, they are decaying as I type. They will presumably be fine and reproductive 5-7 years from now, but they will be 5-7 years older. Shit happens. As far as adopting eggs, if you have to, you have to. But having the 50% genetic disconnect later (hubs batter+ total stranger) by choice, is based on your experience, not genetic reality. And…down the road lacking participation in that, if you can participate, will be troubling. You are amazing, and you have a 20-something perspective on your genetics & kids. You won’t feel that way in 10 years.
    And the pressure for success you place on yourself, isn’t reality when choosing the Egg for your omelet. You get base info at best. Nobody tells the truth about that weird uncles proclivities, nor a bad patch in college. You don’t know what you are getting (creating an embryo & ai/or surrogacy is wildly expensive, not at all comfortable, and each round costs more, indefinitely, until it takes or you quit.)
    Banking your eggs is highly adviseable if you aren’t planning on children for awhile.)
    It’s a hard reality, and one that is pondered as endless and not wildly urgent in your mid to late 20’s, but a really big deal, in your mid 30’s.
    Reality, premature ovarian depletion happens a lot. Infertility, is shocking and common.
    If it helps, remember your husband married you for a good reason, and trust his judgement. If his batter is good enough for your progeny, yours is too. (Disclaimer: Our Seattle HQ employer likewise deeply subsidized our adventure in fertility & babies. I did it after ardently spending my life in the persuit of NOT procreating. It was hard. Emotional. And I wish I had that 411 ten years prior to that odyssey.)
    Really try and detach your emotional self from your genetics, and evaluate. Full on fertility treatment is around $250k in the reality, but the emotional toll isn’t quantifiable. Best wishes in your decisions and choices.

  • Lily, I obviously don’t know you….but I really enjoy reading your blog. As a retired OBG…I would say you are genetically in the 90th%ile based on your writing…you’ve got the important bases covered:
    -financially aware-check
    -smart-check
    -hard working-check
    -artistic talent-check
    -Hippo loves you-check

    Consider….as much as you like Hippo, and want to see his genetic progeny…he may want to see yours!

    The genetic lottery is both predictable and unpredictable….you chose Hippo…he chose you….I suspect the outcome would be good…
    planedoc recently posted…It was a pretty good lunch…..

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