UIC sperm bank waives storage fee for military men
Since the war started, the phones at the University of Illinois’ sperm-bank program have been ringing regularly with questions from men in the military reserve corps and the people who love them: How can they protect themselves in the event something happens in the Middle East?
“We’ve gotten so many calls from mothers, fathers, wives, fiancées and girlfriends who are concerned about the reproductive health of their loved ones who may be called for active duty,” says Mary Coppolillo, UIC’s Patient Sperm Banking Program coordinator.
“We’re hoping these young men are only taking a precautionary measure, but if they need to use the sperm, we’re happy we can help them have their own biological child in the future.”
Like major sperm banks on the east and west coasts, UIC, the largest sperm bank in the Midwest, is waiving the initial $200 storage fee for military men. The offer is aimed at reservists who fear they may come in contact with wartime chemicals that could render them infertile or affect future children they father. A $100 fee for processing and freezing specimens is required.
Since the program began in February, there have been more than 65 calls, mostly from military families in Illinois. More than half of them have chosen to bank their sperm.
Reservists who cannot get to UIC’s Chicago campus to produce a specimen can request an OverNite Male kit for an additional $25. It allows them to produce a semen sample at home and ship it to the UIC Outpatient Care Center lab.
The UIC Outpatient Care Center lab, located on the campus of the UIC Medical Center, is open Monday through Friday and some Saturdays to accommodate men being deployed.
For information or an appointment, call (312) 996-7713, or visit www.uicandrology.com.
-- Monica Ginsburg