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Sarah & Melissa

Xytex was on the list of sperm banks given to us from our fertility clinic, but we had also heard of them from friends of ours who were searching for a sperm donor at the same time that we were.

Tell us a bit more about your background. What do you do for a living? Are you in the U.S.? Overseas? Married?

My wife, Sarah, and I (Melissa) are both elementary school teachers. We live in Pennsylvania and have been together since 2011. We were married in 2017 in Las Vegas.

When did you begin your Xytex search/ pregnancy journey?

We began our donor search in 2017, but we didn’t find our perfect donor and make a purchase from Xytex until the fall of 2018. We began TTC in March 2019 and became pregnant in August 2019.

Are you in a heterosexual couple, a same-sex couple, or are you a single mother by choice?

We are a same-sex couple.

What challenges did you face when trying to become pregnant, if any? How did you handle those challenges?

Being a same-sex couple, we knew we would obviously need the help of science to become pregnant. We also each wanted to eventually have the chance to try to carry a child. Since Sarah is 5 years older, we always knew she would try to get pregnant first. We struggled to decide if the IUI or IVF route was best for us. The chance of success is much higher with IVF, but so is the price tag. Ultimately, we decided to try IUI first, since it was less costly. However, after 3 failed IUIs we switched to IVF and also switched fertility clinics. We didn’t feel that our first clinic was a good fit for us (for many reasons) but the most important reasons were that they were unorganized. We didn’t feel that their monitoring was sufficient enough to help us get pregnant. We learned a tough lesson about going above and beyond in your research. Our first clinic had a great reputation in our area for being a leading hospital in women’s health. Unfortunately, their fertility center, in our opinion, did not live up to that hype. After switching clinics and seeing how high their expectations were, we regretted wasting 3 cycles with our first clinic. BUT, the regret didn’t last long as we now have the baby we were supposed to have all along. We became pregnant after the first round of IVF and the first embryo transfer!

Who supported you the most during your donor search/ pregnancy?

Since we didn’t know how long this process would be and where it would take us, we didn’t tell our families and friends that we had begun the journey to having a baby, until we were getting ready to start the IVF process. We were definitely each other’s biggest supports during this time. As far as supports at Xytex, we had a lot of communication with Lynda Cribbs and Nannette Vilano. Both ladies were extremely friendly, helpful, and supportive during the time when we were waiting for vials of our donor to be released, while we waited on results of carrier screening, and finally with purchase and shipping.

How did you hear about Xytex?

Once we decided that we wanted to begin our journey to starting a family, we researched sperm banks that performed genetic testing on their donors. Xytex was on the list of sperm banks given to us from our fertility clinic, but we had also heard of them from friends of ours who were searching for a sperm donor at the same time that we were.

Why did you choose Xytex? What did you like most? What did you like least?

When we began our donor search, we were looking at three different sperm banks. We ultimately chose Xytex because of the extensive genetic testing that they provide, the rigorous screening process for donors, as well as the large number of adult photos that are available. In addition, because my wife and I are both CMV negative we needed a CMV negative donor. This can often limit the choices drastically. However, Xytex had a decent amount of CMV negative donors that had other attributes we were looking for.

The only thing that was a disappointment for us was learning that the sperm buyback period with Xytex is significantly shorter than other sperm banks. We purchased 9 vials to be used for 2 pregnancies. We plan on having 2-3 years between our children and that would go past the 2-year buyback period that Xytex offered (at the time of our purchase) should we have any vials left over.

How did Xytex compare to other sperm banks?

We love that Xytex is open to helping LGBTQ couples create a family. Extensive genetic testing and screening process, free 2-year storage with the purchase of multiple vials, messages from donors, multiple photos at different age ranges–including adult photos, and cost was slightly less than other sperm banks.

What was most important to you when choosing a donor? What were you looking for?

-Genetic testing

-As much information as possible regarding the donor and his family’s medical/health history


-CMV negative

-Light eyes as both my wife and I have blue eyes.

-The written messages from the donors. We felt that these messages helped to give us a small glimpse into their personality and their reason for donating. Knowing that our donor’s reason for donation was to help others create a family was important to us.

What would you tell others looking for a donor? Any advice?

Take your time to find the donor that feels right for you, don’t rush it. Focus on what’s most important to you whether that be medical history, education, ethnicity, etc. This helped to make the process less overwhelming for us.

Why would you recommend Xytex?

Xytex made the process so easy! When we initially found our donor his vials were not yet available, and we were placed on a pending list. That alone was stressful because we knew we wanted to purchase a significant amount of vials and didn’t want to risk not having enough for two pregnancies. However, the staff members we worked with were wonderful, stayed in contact, and helped us feel more at ease! Also, the purchase and shipping process was seamless. We never worried about the tank not showing up on time to our fertility clinic.

Was our website/resources helpful?

Yes, the website was easy to navigate as was the donor search feature. We especially appreciated the resources that helped us to make decisions about carrier screening and whether or not to choose an identity disclosure donor.

After completing your purchase with Xytex, what happened from there?

After purchasing our vials in November 2018, we had Xytex store them until our first IUI in March of 2019. A simple phone call to Xytex was all it took to schedule the ship date for the sperm each time. In August of 2019, we became pregnant with our daughter!