Sperm Banks Offer Last-Minute Holiday Sales

Filed under: In The News, Infertility

gift picture

Talk about giving a personal gift. Credit: Getty

Here's a not-so-subtle gift that brings families together -- or at least tries to create them -- this holiday season: Now, for the couple aspiring to get pregnant, friends and families can send vials of sperm.

Two of the top branches of the world's largest sperm banks put out sales alerts earlier this week, marketing that the gift of sperm "could at least help reduce one of the costs involved in creating a family," Time magazine reports.

Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories Inc., both divisions of the Genetics and IVF Institute, based in Fairfax, Va., held one-day sales earlier this week, offering 50 percent off a second vial of sperm with the full-price purchase of one, according to Time's health site.

Discounts ranged from $300 to $600 per vial, depending on preparation techniques, which translates into which kind of fertility treatment the sperm is intended to be used for, Time reports.

"I've seen friends go through (infertility)," Michelle Ottey, a geneticist and director of operations for Fairfax and CLI, tells Time. "Yes, it's a business, but when it comes down to it, we're allowing people the freedom to build their families. If we can do that with a sale or a special, we're glad to help."

Earlier this year, another major sperm bank also held a sperm sale, marketing it as "a stimulus package," according to Time. Xytex offered customers up to $200 off vials of sperm from its select donors to clear out an oversupply.

The sale packages from the two sperm banks together included samples from approximately 300 donors. Donors are paid between $150 and $200 per sample, and are asked to make a commitment to give one sample per week for six months, Time reports. The samples were limited to 25 to 30 "family units" -- meaning only 25 to 30 families are allowed to use samples from any single donor.

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