USDCC sought to collect data on sperm banks across the United States. A survey was conducted in which sperm bank websites were reviewed for relevant data and then those data were confirmed via contact with representatives from each bank. Data were collected between September 8, 2022, and September 22, 2022.
Twenty companies and 36 sperm banks were identified for USDCC’s 2022 Sperm Bank Data Survey. Each sperm bank has a parent company. Some sperm banks are owned by the same parent company, despite having names that are different from the parent company and/or sister banks.
Some data were not confirmed via a company representative due to inability to get into contact with someone, no response, or refusal to respond. Some banks only confirmed some of the data USDCC sought. Of the 36 banks, nine did not confirm data via a representative.
Data collected included
- whether a bank was for-profit or non-profit;
- whether a bank shipped gametes domestically and/or internationally;
- what donor types a bank offered;
- whether a bank hosted a sibling registry;
- whether a bank verified donor information including criminal background checks, self-reported medical history, genetic screening, and education history;
- whether a bank performed psychological evaluations on donors prior to donation;
- whether a bank provided counseling to donors;
- whether a bank had an upper and lower age limit for prospective donors;
- whether a bank limited distribution of a donor’s gametes to a set number of families and what those limits were;
- whether a bank had a reporting process to track pregnancies and live births;
- the expected time commitment for donation; and
- whether donors were compensated and how much compensation donors received.
Motivations for this survey effort included comparing the data collected on sperm banks with recommended guidelines published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Our finding shows that no surveyed sperm bank complied with all of ASRM’s recommended guidelines, but some banks complied with some of the recommended guidelines.
The results of the survey show that U.S. sperm banks abide by a variety of internally set policies and practices with highly inconsistent adherence to recommended guidelines from ASRM. These disparate practices and lack of consistent adherence to ASRM’s aspirational guidelines reiterate the need for regulation of the third-party donor gamete industry.
Download the results
For a visual representation of just some of the data captured by the 2022 Sperm Bank Data Survey, see USDCC’s Sperm Bank Data Traffic Light Chart.
The information in USDCC’s 2022 Sperm Bank Data Survey has been checked against each bank’s publicly available data online and has, to the best of USDCC’s ability, been verified by personal contact with the bank via email or phone call in 2022. Not all banks responded or fully responded to USDCC’s verification efforts. If you believe USDCC has received erroneous information about a bank’s policies or practices or would like to provide verification of your bank’s data for our next survey, please reach out to [email protected].
Top Image by Christin Hume via Unsplash