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which are the reputable sperm banks?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 


Edited by Snapdragon - 3/5/14 at 9:17pm
post #2 of 31
nw andrology

i'm sure there are others!

post #3 of 31
We used The Sperm Bank of California (TSBC) in Berkeley (different than California Cryobank) and were very happy with it.

-They will tell you the sperm count on all vials for free, and automatically ship out the vials with the highest numbers. This is probably at the top of my list for priorities.
-The only non-profit sperm bank in the country. This might not matter to some people, but it made me feel like their primary motivation might not be profit, and thus, they might be more ethically responsible to the clients.
-Very queer-friendly. The first bank to specifically serve lesbian families. Again, maybe this shouldn't matter, but it did to me. I hated the websites of all those banks with nothing but straight couples on them.
-Friendly in general. Everyone was always helpful and pleasant.
-A good number of identity-release donors available.
-Sibling inventory set aside.
-They have a donor sibling program that matches families with other families who've used the same donor.
-Shipping always happened without a glitch, and they were happy to ship directly to my house.
-As long as the vials haven't left the bank, they'll let you switch vials you've purchased for another donor for a small fee.
-They do not have pictures (child or adult), but they will do photo matching if you send them a picture of yourself or your partner.

-On the expensive side.
-Sometimes you call and get voicemail, even during business hours. Frustrating when you're a crazy TTC demon.
-Not as much selection (especially for donors of color) as some of the bigger banks.
-Once you buy, you can't return, even if the vials haven't left the bank.

**Mods, could we start a sticky called "Sperm Bank Recommendations"? This question comes up periodically, and there are definitely pros and cons to the various banks...
post #4 of 31
We used California Cryobank quite happily. Bonuses: They keep extra vials on hand to be used only for families hoping to conceive a sibling. Ordering was always easy, and the shipments always arrived on time. Large selection of donors. Lots of information available (i.e. baby photo, audio interview, long and short profiles). Our particular donor had great sperm numbers. Cons: They won't tell you the sperm numbers until after you've bought the sperm. More expensive than some other banks. They say that they limit donors to 10 families, but we have found this not to be the case at all (we've already found way more than 10 families who used our donor). Apparently they have a hard time keeping track.

If we had it to do over, knowing what I know now, I'd probably have gone with one of the banks that tells you the sperm numbers before you buy. I think numbers should be at the top of the list when deciding how to pick a donor.


(And this thread is now STUCK, thanks for the suggestion, Angela!)

post #5 of 31

I used Cryogenics Lab. I thought they were great. They give you alot of things for free.. like a baby picture.. essays.. some audio.. medical history. If I decide to have another one.. after this one.. I will go with them again.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Great info. I will look into every one of these.
So far I am looking at TSBC and love the profile depth- but I think xytex is the only one that gives actual adult photos-
Did anyone use xtex for that reason? I am considering if I want to shell out the 165 dollars to look at the photos. I wish all of them had photos!
post #7 of 31
We used Xytex and we are very happy with them. The best thing about that $165 is that you can look at ALL the profiles for unlimited numbers of times for 3 months! Most banks, you have to pay individually for each long profile and pic that you want. And Xytex is the ony one that I know of that has adult pictures. There are some donors that have audio interviews and picture spans you can seperately order but you get most of the info on all donors for that one time fee.

You can also have the sperm shipped to your home for at home inseminations which is what we did. And they allowed our midwife to sign off on it. Plus, you can order your sperm through an online chat window with their reps which is kind of surreal and cool all at the same time. Helps cut down on the embarassment if you are shy about talking about sperm over the phone.

They also offer that for $35, they will give you the samples with the best counts out of the units they have available for that donor at the time you order. They won't tell you ahead of time what the numbers on your specific vials are, BUT they will give you a sampling of what the numbers on a certain donor are on average. We routinely got counts of 80 and 90 million motile sperm per ml.

They do allow a large number of pregnancies... I think it is 40 per donor. They may track regions and limit certain regions... so there won't 40 all in Michigan. 40 over the US doesn't seem so bad.

They were super nice, have great customer service and even have a "Sperm McGyver" on call to arrange emergency shipments if you ovulate early (we had to do that once).

The only draw back... cost. They are on the high end cost wise per vial, but I felt that we got our money's worth.

OH! And they have tons of willing to be known donors!
post #8 of 31
Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
Thanks! Great info. I will look into every one of these.
So far I am looking at TSBC and love the profile depth- but I think xytex is the only one that gives actual adult photos-
Did anyone use xtex for that reason? I am considering if I want to shell out the 165 dollars to look at the photos. I wish all of them had photos!
Hey Katie,

TSBC does not give you photos to look at. But, you can send them a picture of your partner and they'll find the donor who looks most like them.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 31
FYI...Fairfax Cryobank also offers adult photos. Although, not of all of their donors. They have to consent to it. They actually provide what they call "lifetime photos". We got a baby photo, 2 year old photo, 10 year old photo, 18 year old photo and two different adult photos. It was definitley a relief to find out our donor of choice was so handsome.
post #11 of 31
I've had good luck with all of the banks mentioned here. I work the most with Midwest and Xytex because of cost and customer service issues. You might want to look into local banks as well. Some of them are reputable, just smaller or not as well known. Some of my clients get sperm from our local bank, International Cryogenics, and it means that they have a $40 courier fee instead of $150 or $200 shipping.

I think the big things that divide the banks from each other are cost, breadth of donors available, info on donors, identity release policies, donor screening/removal of donors with known issues, recipient screening/paperwork (do you need to see a doctor, a midwife, or can you just order yourself), ship to your house or just to a medical office, info on sperm quality, and availability of samples for IUI and ICI. Also ease of access to customer service.

There is some good info on lesbian-friendly sperm banks at the Human Rights Campaign website.

Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
Does anyone know if it is possible to get International sperm? Meaning, if one has a fondness for a certain country can they order sperm from a bank from there?
A lot of the bigger banks have donors of many ethnicities, but the sperm itself generally comes from the U.S.. One bank I have worked with, Cryos New York, gets a lot of its sperm from Scandinavia.
post #12 of 31
We're using Pacific Reproductive Services (PRS). They are lesbian-owned, fairly small (2000+ babies), and have two offices, in Pasadena CA and in the San Francisco Bay area. Most of their clients are lesbians, with a minority of single straight women as well. Mostly willing-to-be-known donors.

Very good interaction with the office staff -- prompt callbacks, helpful with questions about getting the timing right.
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
post #14 of 31
We used "Cryobiology Lab" out of Ohio. We liked them because they we very friendly over the phone and in e-mail, they have a decent selction and we thought their prices were quite good. We narrowed our search down to 8 potential donors and then did photo matching on those 8. We got a 3 page document on which donor they thought was the best fit and why, down to every little facial and body type characteristic. It was great! They also have essays, adult/child photos (of some), and other goodies to learn about your donor. Our first IUI will be in a week or so, so then will be able to tell how "good" the donor really is! he he :-)
post #15 of 31
We originally used California Cryobank for our sperm donor. They seemed very professional, lots of testing, way more options for getting info on the donor (pics, etc.) but chose to use NW Cryobank for this last order of sperm.

I don't want to say too much other than if you use NW Cryobank make sure do to ICSI as there was an issue with the sperm we ordered. Had it not been for the ICSI (we were contemplating NOT doing) we wouldn't be pregnant now.

We ended up getting refunded and are pregnant but just wanted to put that out there.

Our clinic will not use them anymore.

Sometimes you pay for what you get..... I guess in this aspect even.

post #16 of 31
We used California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank. Both are reputable and were recommended to us by our physician.

I think with just about any bank you'll find that people have mixed views and experiences. I found that the vials we used from CC had lower counts than Fairfax. Not quite low enough for them to consider a refund, and good enough to still use, but not "great" as per my doctor.

Wherever you go I'd make sure you look over what they test for. I think sometimes people assume all banks do the same testing on the donor and sperm, but that isn't the case.
post #17 of 31
NW Cryobank was a great bank for us. Registration took little time, and the process of ordering sperm was easy. We also were able to have it shipped to our home, which made for much more intimate inseminations. We didn't have a problem with sperm count or quality--we got pregnant on our second attempt with one donor, and we only used one vial. In fact, I know of a number of women who have had great success using them. On top of all of this, they are relatively inexpensive compared to the bigger banks.

The major downfall is a lack of much diversity in their donors. There isn't a huge selection, but a the same time, we were able to find several who were appealing to us.

Hope this helps!
post #18 of 31
We used Fairfax Cryobank because of the extensive testing they do for Cystic Fibrosis. When our daughter was conceived, we didn't know if I was a carrier or not (my first cousin died from CF). Knowing that our donor was negative for all mutations was a huge relief. Fairfax is a bit expensive but worked well for us.
post #19 of 31
my sister is a SMBC. she actually guided my decision to use fairfax cryo. i found their website to be very user friendly plus they offer various photo packages if you are into seeing a pict of your donor.

good luck!
post #20 of 31
The Donor Sibling Registry has a great compilation of info on many, many, MANY sperm banks. They list all comments that have been made by members of the DSR. I haven't fully looked at it, b/c we chose our bank (OHSU out of POrtland, OR) a couple years ago before I realized such a list existed. You don't have to be a dues paying member of the DSR to access the list. If you're concerned about using a future known-identity donor, be very careful about the bank you choose. My impression is that many are not ethical in this regard. I've heard great things about TSBC with future known donors. Link to the DSR Resources page: http://www.donorsiblingregistry.com/LinksPage.php
Good luck!
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