2016 EBook: About Sperm and Sperm Banks

The 2016 Choice Moms Sperm Guide (40 pages) offers everything you need to know about sperm and sperm banks, but might not know to ask.

Such as:

  • An at-a-glance comparative chart of policies and prices at 11 sperm banks — number of donors, guaranteed motility count, family donor limit, price, shipping costs
  • How Choice Moms choose their donor, decide how many vials to purchase
  • The differences in types of donor available to you
  • How all sperm banks are NOT created alike (open-identity, tracking, motility guarantees, refund policies, donor limits)
  • Questions to ask a sperm bank before using
  • Insights from Outreach Health Services for our women in Canada, excerpted from the EBook: Canada
  • After the fact, what if you want to make contact with half-siblings?
  • Spotlights on four banks who support Choice Mom resources in 2016: The Sperm Bank of California, Seattle Sperm Bank, NW Cryobank and CryoGam Colorado.
  • Links to special resources about donor conception.

To order, go to our EGuides page.

Check out some of the experiences women have shared in the comments field below. (You’ll also find many more reports on the Choice Mom discussion board if you do a search.)

If you’ve already chosen a bank and conceived — after you report the birth to the bank to keep their donor offspring numbers up-to-date — please add comments below about your own experience with the bank so that others can benefit from your insights into their policies and customer service strengths and weaknesses.

— Mikki

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  15 comments for “2016 EBook: About Sperm and Sperm Banks

  1. Aya
    August 1, 2017 at 1:09 am

    After Mikki’s recommendation, I checked out the Seattle Sperm Bank and have been in touch with them over the last few days.
    They have a great ID release program, low-fee free access to long profiles, criminal background checks, educational certificate verification (didn’t ask about those). I liked a few donors there (smarts was the most important thing for me). However, when looking at their family limits I was horrified. The global limit is almost 95 families! They haven’t had a donor reach that yet but some have come close. Their US limit is 25 families (they said they stop distributing at 21 to account for non-reports. They apparently also have a vial limit but I wasn’t able to get that number. They are also marketing aggressively abroad and in the US so supporting Choice moms could be more about that marketing than anything else.

    I have to say that their open ID program is great and the customer support was good in answering questions but this global family limit worried me. Am I being unreasonable in my strong reaction to this or are others bothered as well? With non-reports doesn’t that lead to potential sibling groups of 300 and more? Anyone have to deal with very large family groups? I am happy to pay way more to have lower limits combined with their extra screens. This is worrying to me because I live between the US and UK/Spain and have lived in other countries as well for my job so these might actually be relevant for me. But I also tend to obsess about some things unreasonably so your input would be helpful in making me think about this.

    I also looked into the Pacific Reproductive Services bank that has 15 family limit but after the merger with Fairfax, the receptionist told me their family limit was 25 but then asked her manager to specify that they are keeping the PacRePro limit to 15. However, the problem there was that they didn’t know when each donor donated and I saw dob’s in the early 1970s.

    I am now looking into the California Cryobank again but have heard problems with sperm quality there. Any issues on this?

    Also, do you know which banks report standardized test scores?

  2. Aya
    July 26, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hello, I am unable to access the eguides. Any help?
    Aya

    • July 27, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      When you go to the eguides page and ask to ADD CART for the eguides you’re interested in, what happens? Let me know the steps you’re taking and I’ll see if there is a glitch in the system somewhere.

      http://www.choicemoms.org/choice-mom-eguides/

      Mikki

  3. Elizabeth
    June 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    As a Canadian we’re limited in our choices to Xytex, Fairfax/Cryogenic, European Sperm Bank USA, NW Cryobank or our only Canadian bank Repromed. Makes for a very difficult decision.

    • Jan
      August 10, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Hello there, of the sperm banks that are available to Canadians, does anyone recommend one over the other?

      • August 10, 2016 at 1:11 pm

        If you saw the eguide for Canadian women, sponsored by Outreach Health Services, they work with four U.S. banks at the moment. Of those, the one I highly recommend — not least of which because it’s the only one that supports Choice Mom resources on an annual basis — is Seattle Sperm Bank. You’ll find more about them in the Sperm Guide and on the ChoiceMoms.org website. They have a good number of open-identity donors, personable staff, and are small enough to make fewer mistakes in managing their donors. — Mikki

  4. Claire
    March 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I had a good experience with California Cryobank. I used the same ID release donor for my 2 daughters, with excellent sperm counts and quality. I got pregnant first try with my older child, and second try with my younger child. During my cycle to conceive my first child, I bought 10 vials of the donor’s sperm. Shorly after conceiving, I learned that CCB had mistakenly place the wrong donor’s vials in my storage, and my donor was sold out. CCB accepted responsibility for the error and was diligent about fixing it over the next few months, including giving me 2 free vials for my trouble. It was stressful but I was happy with the way they dealt with their error. My second child was born with congenital hearing loss (genetic tests to date do not indicate it is genetic in cause). I’ve been in continuing contact with their geneticist and she has been excellent at following up with me to learn of my child’s genetic test results, so that they could inform other parents if a genetic cause had been found. CCB is communicative and responsible, in my experience, and I recommend them.

    • Natalia A. Carrasco
      August 1, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Claire,

      I live in California and starting my journey to getting pregnant, my doctor recommended California Cryobank, she said most of her patients have gone through them. How was your experience? Would you recommend them or should I do research on other Sperm banks?

  5. Kim
    July 5, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Another vote for The Sperm Bank of California. I researched 2 or 3 other banks is California and others nationwide.

    Despite the fact that TSBC offered NO donor photos, voice recordings etc, I still chose them over other banks due to low family limit per donor, well supported identity release program, vial prices and general accessibility/professionalism.

    Quick example – I had a anxiety promoting experience with TSBC wherein there were NO nitrogen tanks available to ship vials and my ovulation was fast approaching.

    The TSBC reps worked with me (as did a wonderful woman at a local sperm bank here in Chicagoland) to come up with an alternate plan so I didn’t have to "waste" a cycle (egg!!!)

    Since I first became a client (2007), TSBC has started offering photos of donors providing the donors choose to provide one. Luckily for us, our identity release donor was one that decided to add photos! Yay!

  6. Rachel
    May 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    The Sperm Bank of California does not dilute their sperm with fillers like many other banks do. An ejaculate yields two vials. Some sperm banks expand that natural amount to six vials. You can imagine what that does to potency.

  7. Evelyn
    April 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I entirely agree with Chrissy! The Sperm Bank of California was great & easy to deal with. Their website is simple, but not flashy; their profiles are very personal & thorough. Their ethics are great for both the donors & recipients. And they are very open-minded: more than half of their clients are single women or lesbian couples!
    I’m expecting my little one in ~6weeks!

  8. Chrissy
    April 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    If I understood Mikki correctly, she was asking for us to post here with specific feedback on our experiences with sperm banks. I worked with TSBC (The Sperm Bank of CA) and highly highly recommend them for a host of reasons. In no particular order…
    – They are a non-profit (only one in the country to my knowledge.)
    – They’ve got roots in a feminist health center (tells me that they’ve got a history of being woman-centered and feminist, both important for me.)
    – They have a long standing (even pioneering, I think) donor identity release program (win-win for the child and mom, in my opinion, and jibes w my research pointing to ‘the less secrecy the better’ for families using donor-conception.)
    – They do extensive social research on the well-being of donor-conceived individuals. (I’m glad that my child has the option of getting identifying information about the donor, particularly from these folks who seem to care so much about the donor-conceived children.)
    – They are small, and therefore can offer a surprisingly personal interaction during the process (for example, I talked about one of my possible donor choices w a staff member, and it was clear she actually knew who he was, and she passed along on small details that weren’t in the short or long profiles, such as general demeanor, quirkiness, etc.)
    – Although they are in Berkeley, CA about as far from me as they could be, they’re on a street I’ve actually been on. (Strange, I know, but it was another thing that made me want to use them!)
    – They had useful/helpful advice when I wanted it (on website, in written materials, on phone.)
    – They have an unusually low family limit for each donor, thereby greatly reducing the number of half siblings my child has.
    – They were completely and swiftly honest when snafus happened. (My first, and agonizingly/obsessively deliberated-over, donor choice turned out to have the special distinction of being only the second donor in their history to be ‘taken off the shelves’, and the director herself called me to explain the situation, apologize, and make a plan for what to do about it.)
    And of course I mostly love TSBC because they helped me become a mom, which has been the greatest joy in my entire life.

  9. Jessica Lenz
    March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Great work in putting this together Mikki. This will be invaluable to the Choicemom community!

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