How much does a sperm donor cost in the UK?
You might consider getting pregnant with donor sperm if you are a same-sex couple, a single woman or a couple experiencing fertility issues.
The cost of donor sperm will depend on several factors including whether you select an anonymous or known donor, as well as whether you purchase sperm from a sperm bank, a fertility clinic or online from a website dedicated to sperm donation such as CoParents.co.uk.
The cost of donor spermDonor sperm is much less costly than donor eggs. Additionally, sperm purchased from a bank or a fertility clinic will be more expensive than sperm obtained from a known donor. As an example, if you buy sperm from The London Sperm Bank, you can expect to spend about £950 for donor sperm. They also offer free delivery of samples for about £150.
If you prefer to select a donor outside of a clinic or bank, because you want to reduce costs (or for another reason), you may be able to find a donor in your social network. One of your friends or acquaintances might be willing to donate their semen for free, or in exchange for a small amount of compensation.
You can also look for free sperm donors online, whether this is on social media or on sites connecting sperm donors with aspiring parents such as CoParents.co.uk. Looking for a sperm donor online is probably the best alternative to sperm banks if you want to reduce costs. Some online donors will offer their sperm for free. Some may ask you to cover accommodation or transport fees if they live far from you. Make sure that you are on the same page with your donor, and discuss finances with them before going any further.
It's also important to know that, contrary to fertility clinics where all donors are screened for infections and inherited diseases, this is not always the case with donors found online. If your donor hasn’t been screened and you'd like this to happen, he may ask you to cover any expenses related to the tests.
This means additional costs for you. However, it’s highly recommended to ask any potential donor to undergo these tests to ensure that you don’t put yours and your baby's health at risk. On top of that, you need to know how healthy and fertile their sperm is in order to maximise your chances of getting pregnant.
Semen analysis might cost you up to about £120-£200. Blood tests can cost up to about £120-£200 or more, depending on the clinic and the number of conditions tested for. HIV testing is free of charge on the NHS. You can also buy tests online or in drug stores.
How much does donor insemination cost with donor sperm?Fertility treatments such as Intrauterine insemination or IVF can be undertaken via the NHS. If you are thinking of having IUI or IVF, speak to your GP to get more information and to find out if these treatments are suitable for you. Moreover, you will need a referral from your doctor to have your treatment covered by the NHS (if you are eligible).
To be offered IUI on the NHS, you must meet certain criteria. You must be either:
- Unable to have vaginal sex;
- Have a condition that requires help for conception (for instance, HIV);
- In a same-sex relationship and have undergone up to 6 cycles of Intrauterine insemination with donor sperm from a licensed fertility clinic.
It’s important to note that these criteria may vary depending on where you live. If you undergo IUI in a private fertility clinic, you can expect to pay between £800 to £1,300 per cycle.
How much does IVF cost with donor sperm?In vitro fertilisation is more expensive than Intrauterine Insemination, however, IVF treatment has a higher success rate. You may be able to have IVF on the NHS if you meet certain criteria.
If you are under 40, you may be offered three cycles of IVF if you have been trying to conceive via regular unprotected sex for two years or you are still not pregnant after twelve cycles of artificial insemination.
If you are aged between 40 and 42, you may be offered one cycle of IVF if you haven’t successfully become pregnant after having regular, unprotected sex for two years, or after twelve failed attempts of artificial insemination. Additionally, to be offered this treatment, you must be undergoing IVF for the first time and you must not have a low ovarian reserve.
You're not eligible for cover on the NHS? The price for one cycle of IVF at a private clinic may cost anywhere up to £5,000, or even more.Potential additional costs to consider (depending on the treatment involved and your level of fertility) include medical consultations, ultrasounds, fertility tests, sperm storage (if needed), ovulation predictor kits, medication, pregnancy tests, transport, accommodation and childcare (if needed).
How to reduce the costs of sperm donation?If you are considering getting pregnant with donor sperm, you may be worried about the costs involved. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reduce the financial burden.
First, you can select a known donor instead of purchasing donor sperm in a fertility clinic. Selecting someone you already know, for instance a friend, or making a private arrangement with a donor you've met online, will considerably cut costs.
Second, you may be able to have your fertility treatments (such as IVF or IUI) paid for by the NHS. Check to see if you are eligible. Depending on your situation, your age and where you live, you might be offered several cycles of IUI or IVF.
Finally, if you can’t have IUI or IVF on the NHS or if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of undergoing treatment in a fertility clinic, another solution is to carry out the insemination at home. This will help you to significantly reduce the costs and save money.
If you perform the insemination at home, you need to make sure that your donor is free of any sexually transmitted infections and that their sperm is of good quality. It is also recommended to seek legal advice regarding your rights and your donor’s rights towards the child, especially if you are an unmarried lesbian couple.
Additionally, it’s important to note that you might need several cycles of insemination before finally becoming pregnant. If this is your case, additional costs are to be considered (more donor sperm, storage, transport and accommodation fees, etc.).