Saturday, January 22, 2011
Alternative Lifestyle Couple Trying To Conceive: Husband Is Transgender
I just want to know how to go about finding a sperm donor that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars. My wife and I are newlyweds who have settled into our lives together well and are wanting to have a child. Unfortunately I cannot get my wife pregnant (I am transgender and incapable of producing sperm). I would like to know if you know of any sperm banks (free ones maybe?) that are legitimate or of any other services that would work with us. The city of Louisville, KY doesn't have many open resources so I was hoping you could point us in the direction of something nearby or easily shipped. Thanks for your time. -R. from Kentucky
Hello R. from the U.S.,
There are many sperm banks accross the U.S. and ordering from these can be done by phone or via the internet. However, I know of no "free" sperm donor banks. In general sperm costs $200-300 per specimen. This sperm usually needs to be delivered into the uterus by a treatment called intrauterine insemination (IUI). That will cost an additional $800-1000 per month of trying with a specialist. I know that some lesbian couples will try natural insemination with donor sperm, and that some sperm banks will sell sperm to them for that purpose. You'll have to check with each sperm bank. Most will require a doctor to do the procedure and obtain the sperm. With the "natural" method, done at home, the sperm is injected into the vagina with a syringe to deliver the sperm. Ovulation detector kits are used to time the injection. You would probably need two to three specimens done daily in order to hit ovulation exactly.
In order to do IUI (intra uterine insemination), you would need to see a fertility specialist. Most of us are aware of and have taken care of patients in your situation. I have helped lesbian couples and men who are incapable of producing sperm. These situations do not bother me or most fertility clinics. The fertility clinic will then help you to order the sperm. I use a clinic called the California Cryobank here in California. They have been in business for a long time (over 30 years!) and are very reputable. My patients have had excellent results with them & they will ship specimens worldwide.
Off the record, the only other option that I can think of, that could potentially be free, is to have your brother or friend, donate a sperm specimen for you, preserving the specimen in a cup. Keep in mind that the specimens should be collected and injected on the two to three days after the ovulation predictor kit is positive. This will, of course, depend on whether you have a brother or friend that would be willing to help you with that. (One of the most popular movies last year dealt with a lesbian couple who decided to go that route, "The Kids Are All Right".)
Hope this helps, good luck,
Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.