Sperm Transport: The ingenious (and weird) way we saved $750
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
When it comes to infertility, every dollar counts. The lucky ones have good insurance benefits. The somewhat lucky ones (us) have kind of good insurance benefits. Nevertheless, doctor bills, medication, donor sperm purchases, procedures, surgeries, and the like...all add up very quickly and make my stomach churn in ways I cannot put into words.
One of our "to do" items from the switch to a different clinic was to figure out how to get our already-purchased two vials of donor sperm that were being stored at the first clinic transferred to our new clinic. It's been awhile since I've given you an update, so if you missed it or need a refresher, you can read about our switch here.
The Jaw Dropper
During the consultation at the University of Iowa, we learned that the cost to ship our donor sperm from our old clinic to our new clinic was going to be astronomical. I mean, I get it. It has to be packaged just right in what they call a liquid nitrogen "dry" shipper tank.
Nobody wants a straw of $1,000 donor sperm to show up at the clinic DOA. But it's safe to say we almost fell out of our chairs when we learned how much it would cost to transfer our sperm a couple miles across town.
$750 for FedEx to go 2.4 Miles?!
No, that's not a typo. I was as surprised as you are. We could almost buy a whole new vial of sperm with those shipping costs.
No, thank you. I would rather throw those couple vials into an old Igloo lunchbox/cooler and walk my little soon-to-be-inserted-into-my-vagina swimmers to our new clinic myself. Can't you just picture me walking down University Ave. with my dad's
cooler from the 1990s full of $2,000 worth of sperm? 🤣
The Lightbulb Moment
It seemed that shipping would be our only option, because who wants to take a chance that the sperm would die on the way to their new home if not packaged properly? As I said above, the costs add up so quickly –– this seemingly unnecessary and outrageous cost just made me plain mad.
I was airing my grievances one day on the phone to my dad. After I finished talking, he said,
"Ya know, Teri, I have a semen tank we use for bull semen. Well, it probably wouldn't work for this but...."
HANG ON, DEAR READERS.
You're probably wondering why my dad has such a thing in his possession and what he is doing with bull semen. So, let's take a moment to learn a few background items:
We aren't city folk. We are farm people. My family lives on a farm outside of a teensy little town in the middle of Iowa.
Fun facts: I was the Guthrie County Fair Queen in high school and represented my county at the State Fair. I was also the 4-H Queen and Beef Princess. Here's a pic of me showing my sheep for good measure.
My dad does cattle stuff. I won't even try to explain it, because I know it won't be right, but in a nutshell people come from all over to see and buy cattle from my dad and his buds.
My dad also AI's heifers (girl cows). AI stands for Artificial Insemination, hence why my dad has a cryotank where he stores bull semen. If you need to know more, you can Google it.
You should be all caught up now.
So, my dad tells me he has a tank he stores bull semen in and that probably won't work but he will send me some photos.
Here is what a tank that stores bull semen looks like. And here is what a straw that holds said bull semen looks like. (The More You Know😆You're welcome.)
The Strangest Question I've Ever Asked
In the meantime, I had to have my ultrasound and sonohysterogram done at the new clinic (you know, the one where they found the Grady Twins AKA Polyp 1 and Polyp 2). After my procedure as I was chatting with Courtney, our PA, I just said something along the lines of "Hey, this is probably really strange but my dad has a semen tank he uses for bull semen and we were wondering if we could use it to transfer our sperm."
I showed her the pictures above and she said, "That looks so much like the tank we have here! That should work perfectly!"
Daddy Gene to the rescue!
We Did It!
Unconventional, yes. A request the clinics have never had before, yes.
Of course we had to run it by the Lab Director at our first clinic and make sure that was OK with them, as well as plan a time that worked for both clinics. Then, Brian and my dad did the transfer and saved us $750.
What can I say? We like to leave an impression.
(Don't worry –– there was no other sperm in the tank when this occurred!)
I hope you enjoyed this fun little story and maybe learned something new! I've been struggling lately to find the words for blog updates –– hopefully I will come out of this writer's block soon and can get you all back up to speed!
As always, prayers for clarity, strength, direction, and hope are needed and appreciated. Love you ♡.