Last week MSNBC.com reported that the prestigious clinic has launched a sperm banking kit -- except that you won't actually be doing any "banking" (no need to make room in the freezer). The kit really only handles the "collection" part of the process. According to the MSNBC report, customers get the kit, "collect the sample 'in the comfort of their own home,'" and send it back to the Cleveland Clinic Andrology Laboratory and Reproductive Tissue Bank for storage and safe-keeping.
The thinking is that the new kit -- called the NextGen Home Sperm Banking Service -- will allow any guy who may be worried about his ability to conceive a child later to store his sperm in case he needs it at a future date -- for example, if he is undergoing cancer treatment. The NextGen site notes that you need a referral from a physician to use the service, which costs $689 for the first bank, plus $140 annually to store the sperm, after the first year. Withdrawal and shipping fees also apply.
MSNBC writer Brian Alexander notes that the University of Illinois at Chicago offers much the same DIY sperm-banking kit, which they call "Overnite Male."
There's some debate about how well the sperm will fare when collected outside of a medical facility, then being flown hundreds or thousands of miles via overnight express to get to the bank for storage. The article notes that men in rural areas may find the service the most useful, since major cities already have sperm banks.