When male fertility problems arise, therefore hindering a man from undergoing an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle using his own semen, sperm donation can turn out to be the final solution to ensure the success of the efforts put into achieving pregnancy.
Heterosexual couples where severe male factor infertility is detected, single women, and lesbian couples can resort to this fertility treatment in order to make their dream of having a baby come true.
In Spain, the cost of an IVF cycle using donor sperm ranges from €3,200 to €5,000 approximately. Price variation depends on the fertility clinic chosen to carry out the treatment and the special characteristics of each particular situation.
Fees usually include expenses derived from the whole process, e.g. sperm donor compensation, screening of potential sperm donors, sperm cryopreservation, etc.
In vitro fertilization with donor sperm
The following steps are involved in the IVF with own eggs and donor sperm process:
- Ovarian stimulation: The patient is administered ovulation induction drugs to trigger egg production. This allows a larger amount of eggs to be obtained, increasing therefore the likelihood of obtaining viable embryos.
- Semen collection: The donor’s semen sample is frozen right after being collected. It will remain frozen until the moment when fertilization is scheduled, in which case it has to go through a thawing process.
- Follicular puncture: With this procedure, donor eggs are harvested from the ovary of the woman. Then, they are fertilized in the laboratory.
- In vitro fertilization: Retrieved eggs are fused together with the donor’s semen sample. It can be performed either through conventional IVF or ICSI.
- Embryo transfer: Viable embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus, pending embryo implantation. In other words, the aim of this step is to achieve pregnancy.
- Cryopreservation: Non-transferred healthy embryos will be cryopreserved to be used in future cycles. Unused embryos are frozen through embryo vitrification at -196 degrees.
In general terms, the cost of donor-sperm IVF includes all expenses derived from semen collection; however, not every aspect related to egg retrieval is contained within the overall price. In this vein, even though follicular puncture is included, something that is not commonly incorporated in the final price are ovulation induction drugs, which price is around €1,100.
For a man to become a sperm donor he must pass a medical screening process to verify that he is indeed free from any genetic or infectious disease likely to be inherited by offspring, as well as a psychological screening to determine whether he is mentally prepared to endure this sort of process.
Besides, a thorough medical analysis or seminogram will be carried out to check the optimal quality of the semen sample, which must be above the reference values for sperm motility, sperm morphology, and sperm concentration.
Several semen samples will be collected once a week within a period of 4 months. Each sample will be previously analyzed and then frozen ready to be used later by the recipient person or couple.
Screening of potential sperm donors as well as storage fees are both included within the cost of IVF using donor sperm. In case you wish to “save” some semen samples from your first donor to have children via further fertility treatments, you should also incorporate the cost of sperm banking.
Sperm donor compensation
Fixed quotations of this fertility treatment include the compensation donors get for any trouble taken as well as time spent away from work and travel expenses derived from the sperm donation process.
Although Spanish Law regarding Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques establishes that gamete donation must stand for an altruistic process, sperm donors are allowed to get paid with an economic compensation that typically ranges from 30 to 50 euros per sample.
In general, donors are given half of this amount right after semen collection and the pending payment after the six-month quarantine period from the moment the last sample was collected as long as HIV test results show the sample is not infected with this virus.