By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 04/07/2016

There are certain in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles for which there is no other choice but to use donor sperm instead of the husband’s or partner’s, as using the latter is not possible in cases such as:

  • Single women and lesbian couples
  • Heterosexual couples suffering from severe male factor infertility
  • Heterosexual couples in which the male partner has some genetic alteration likely to be passed to offspring

In general, artificial insemination (AI) is the treatment of choice in the first place and, only in case performing an AI is impossible due to female fertility problems, donor-sperm IVF will be the ultimate option selected.

In case female infertility problems are also found, there is also the possibility of turning to double-donor IVF.

What is the cost of sperm donation?

Given that sperm donation is rather easier to carry out than egg donation, its cost is not so high. In fact, the increase in the cost if compared to IVF using own gametes is considerably less than that of donor-egg IVF.

IVF using donor sperm may add just 300-600 euros to the usual price of IVF using own eggs and sperm.

The cost of an IVF cycle using donor sperm may range from €3,500 to €4,500. In any case, prices may vary from clinic to clinic and also depending on the total cost of the program, paying attention to what is included and what’s not, especially:

  • More complex techniques such as assisted hatching, prolonged culture of embryos, etc.
  • Screening of potential sperm donor and prospective mother
  • Medications for the recipient
  • Embryo culture and storage

Sperm donor compensation

The Greek law on the application of medically assisted reproduction techniques (Law 3305/2005) establishes that gamete donation, whether sperm or eggs, must stand for a completely anonymous and altruistic process.

Even though particular attention is drawn to the fact that commercial activities of any kind or the purchase or sale of semen samples is strictly forbidden, Greek legislation allows donors to get a refund for potential expenses derived from the process, such as travel expenses and lost work hours for attending the clinic to deliver each semen sample.

The law limits the payment donors can receive to €200 as a refund for travel expenses and a maximum of €100 as a compensation for time off work or loss of earnings.

Donor-sperm in vitro fertilization

From a technical point of view, the process of IVF using donor sperm differs little from that in which the partner’s sperm is used.

The main difference as established by law is the usage of a fresh semen sample. In accordance to Greek law 3305/2005, using fresh donor semen is forbidden. Thus, all donor semen samples must be previously frozen for a 6-month period, which is the quarantine period of some sexually transmitted diseases such as the HIV.

Provided that frozen samples survive this window period and only if STD tests are negative, the semen sample will be eligible for being thawed and used for in vitro fertilization.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information
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2 comments

    1. Chloé Lefevre

      Salut, I am Chloé and want to have a baby this year or in 2017. I am a single mother and I am looking for a sperm donor now. I don’t mind his nationality but this summer I am going to Greece and maybe I can find a Greek donor and come back to France pregnant. How can I do this? Merci