- How do I get started?
- How much does it cost?
- Will my insurance pay for the specimens? Can you bill my insurance company directly for reimbursement?
- Which vial type do I need?
- Can I perform the insemination at home?
- How are the semen specimens packaged and shipped?
- Do you limit the number of families per donor?
- Do you offer audio interviews with donors?
- Do you offer donor photo matching?
- Do you offer childhood photos of donors?
- Do you offer donor essays?
- Do you offer open donors?
- What is a DNA Ancestry report?
- What is the difference between a donor’s self-reported ancestry and his DNA Ancestry report?
- Do you conduct personality tests on donors?
- May I speak with a staff member who has worked with the donor?
- Do you offer a sibling registry?
- Do you offer adult photographs of donors?
- What method does California Cryobank use to process donor specimens?
- How can I find out the shipment status of my package?
- How does California Cryobank screen donors for the Zika virus?
- How does California Cryobank screen donors for the Human Papilloma virus?
- Whom do I notify to report a pregnancy?
- Where can I find books on related topics?
- What type of storage terms do you offer if I want to purchase and store sperm for a particular donor?
- Do you have a vial buyback option?
- Do you have a vial exchange option?
- Do you offer vials for use in Assisted Reproductive Technologies, such as in vitro fertilization?
How do I get started?
We suggest speaking to your physician about your pregnancy plans. If you need help finding a physician that specializes in reproductive medicine, call our Client Services Department at 866-927-9622. It’s also important to discuss with your partner and/or physician how many children you plan to have and if you’re interested in genetic testing. These decisions will help you determine insemination timing, suitable donors, and number of vials to purchase.
Register online for a free account and download an information packet to learn more about our services. Check out our Donor Search to start looking for your ideal donor. Once you’re logged in, you can save your search criteria and favorite donors. You can also view childhood photos and download Donor Profiles, Medical Histories, Genetic Test Summaries, Donor Personal Essays, and Staff Impressions. If you would like more detailed information on our donors, you can purchase a 90-day subscription to access all photos, Extended Profiles, Donor Conversations, and more.
Before you can order vials, you will need to complete our A2 & A3 forms which can be signed online when you’re logged in to My Account. If you’re not ready to ship your vials, you can still purchase vials and we can store them for 30 days (storage extensions are available for a fee). Before you can ship vials, you must have your physician sign and send us the Authorization for Release of Semen (A1) form.
If you are shipping vials outside of the U.S., you need to complete the IAS form. Additional information may be required depending on the country.
How much does it cost?
We only provide donor sperm services and do not perform inseminations or medical procedures. You would need to check with your healthcare provider for the cost of inseminations, fertility drugs, testing, etc.
The cost of donor sperm will vary based on your personal needs. At a minimum, you will need to pay for vials plus FedEx shipping. If you’re planning on doing only one IVF cycle, you may only need 1-2 vials shipped (approx. $1,000 to $2,000). On average it takes about 3-4 IUI cycles to achieve pregnancy. The cost of vials and shipping for 4 cycles will be around $4,800.
If you plan on doing IUI cycles and would like to have two children, we recommend purchasing at least 8 vials (approx. $9,000). It’s important to purchase all vials at one time because almost all donors sell out. We offer free storage and financing to help you plan for the future. Please visit our Pricing page for detailed vial and shipping prices.
Will my insurance pay for the specimens? Can you bill my insurance company directly for reimbursement?
Many insurance companies view fertility as an "elective" procedure, and not a "disease" of the reproductive system. Historically, fertility services were not covered by insurance plans; however, we are seeing a positive trend in the coverage of these services by some companies. Please check your insurance policy regarding coverage of these specific services. We do not have the facilities to bill insurance companies directly for reimbursement, but we can provide you with an invoice to assist you in completing the insurance claim form.
Which vial type do I need?
- All vial types can be used for any procedure. However, volume (amount) of sperm within each vial varies by vial type (ICI, IUI, IVF, ICSI), so it is important to purchase the appropriate number of vials for your procedure.
- For an ICSI procedure: Use one of any vial type.
- For a traditional IVF procedure: Use two ICSI vials; OR one IVF, IUI, or ICI vial.
- For an IUI (intrauterine insemination) in-clinic procedure: Use one IUI or ICI (to be washed by your physician) vial; OR two IVF vials; OR three ICSI vials.
- For an ICI (intracervical insemination) at-home procedure: Use one IUI or ICI vial; OR two IVF vials; OR three ICSI vials. Please read the At-Home Insemination FAQs for more information about the procedure.
Can I perform the insemination at home?
We recommend consulting with your physician on all matters related to inseminations. Before you can ship vials for an at-home insemination, you will either need to complete the H1 form or we need an A1 form signed by your medical professional. Please call Client Services at 866-927-9622 if you need an H1 form. (NY residents must have an A1 form signed by their medical professional in order to ship vials to their home. International shipments can only be sent to physicians’ offices.)
We understand that some of our clients prefer an at-home insemination for a more “intimate” experience. There are medical professionals that allow spouses or partners to “assist” with inseminations so that both partners are involved in the conception process. This can provide the best of both worlds.
How are the semen specimens packaged and shipped?
We send the specimens in liquid nitrogen dry shipper tanks via Federal Express or local courier. The specimens are guaranteed in the dry shipper tanks for 7 days from the date shipped. Here is a video explaining "How Do I Know I'm Getting the Vial I Bought?"
Do you limit the number of families per donor?
Our donors routinely sell out of vials because we do limit their participation in our program. Our maximum goal is 25-30 family units worldwide per donor. (We ship vials to all 50 states and over 40 countries.) We also provide a free Sibling Registry for families to connect with others that have children from the same donor.
Do you offer audio interviews with donors?
Yes. California Cryobank does offer donor audio interviews. Audio interviews can be ordered online (audio files are available for immediate download) or by phone (a CD is mailed to you). To expedite delivery, you may order online (for immediate download) or request that your CD be sent Federal Express, at an additional cost. Please see our Donor Information Pricing for current fees.
Do you offer donor photo matching?
California Cryobank no longer offers donor photo matching consultations.
Do you offer Childhood Photos of donors?
Yes, California Cryobank does offer childhood photos for selected donors. To see if a donor has a baby photo available, please consult the appropriate column on our donor catalog, or use the baby photo field in our online power search. You may order baby photos individually, or as part of a package. You may purchase and download baby photos online, or have them delivered by mail by calling our Client Services Department at 866-927-9622. Photos ordered online will not be mailed. Please see Donor Information Pricing for current fees.
Do you offer donor essays?
Yes, we do offer Donor Personal Essays. Our Donor Personal Essays are presented in a question and answer format. Some donors write extensively and others are more direct and to the point. The Donor Personal Essays are available at no charge to assist you in the donor selection process. Donor Personal Essays are available for most California Cryobank donors.
Do you offer open donors?
Yes, California Cryobank does offer Open Donors. To see a list of Open Donors consult the appropriate column on our donor catalog, or use the open donor field in our online advanced search.
What is a DNA Ancestry report?
DNA Ancestry is a report of the donor’s geographical ethnicity obtained through DNA analysis. It includes ancestry data for 26 unique geographic regions and ethnic groups. DNA Ancestry combined with a donor’s self-reported ancestry creates a more detailed picture of a donor which can help with donor selection and provide future children with more details about their own ancestry. (DNA Ancestry reports are not available for all donors.)
What is the difference between a donor’s self-reported ancestry and his DNA Ancestry report?
It’s important to understand that a donor’s self-reported ancestry and his DNA Ancestry report are two separate sources of information that are meant to complement one another. Results from the DNA-based ancestry test do not invalidate a donor’s self-reported ancestry and vice-versa. While DNA Ancestry provides insight into where a donor’s ancestors originated, it doesn’t capture their experiences and cultural identity which may have been passed down for generations, which is why we still collect self-reported ancestries.
It is expected that ethnicity estimates based on genetic testing will differ from an individual’s expectations as most human populations have migrated many times throughout their history and mixed with nearby groups. Additionally, as there are limitations to ancestry testing, a donor’s self-reported ancestry may be more specific than one of the 26 groups that can be identified by this DNA Ancestry test.
Do you conduct personality tests on donors?
Yes. In response to client requests for additional information on our donors, California Cryobank offers results (for selected donors) from the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, a widely used personality test.
May I speak with a staff member who has worked with the donor?
California Cryobank provides Staff Impressions Reports written by California Cryobank employees who have worked directly with our donors. These reports are available at no charge.
Do you offer a sibling registry?
California Cryobank offers a Sibling Registry for clients who are interested in expanding their family circle by connecting with potential siblings from families who have used the same donor. Clients who have children using a California Cryobank donor are eligible to participate in the Sibling Registry Program. The Sibling Registry is an optional program. There is no annual subscription fee to participate in this program.
Do you offer adult photographs of donors?
Yes, we recently started offering adult photographs of donors. Donor Adult Photos are a series of 1-3 photos that may include: a headshot, body length photo, and “Express Yourself” photo. Adult photos are limited to those donors who choose to provide them. You may not request additional photos on any donor. If your donor does not have adult photos, we do offer other options to assist you with the selection process. Donor Childhood Photos, Facial Feature Reports, and Donor Look-a-Likes are available for most donors. We also provide Donor Matching Consultations if you are interested in matching the facial characteristics of a donor to a spouse, partner, relative, etc.
What method does California Cryobank use to process donor specimens?
California Cryobank uses Density Gradient Processing to prepare IUI ready donor specimens. While more costly and time consuming, density gradient processing is superior to other methods. It eliminates white cells that are associated with bacteria, viruses and infection. It pre-selects sperm that are morphologically normal, have superior mobility, and have a lower incidence of DNA anomalies. It removes all traces of seminal plasma, thus reducing post-insemination cramping.
How can I find out the shipment status of my package?
California Cryobank is now working with Federal Express to offer a new e-mail notification and online package tracking service. Clients can receive an e-mail message once their package is shipped, and then track the package on the Federal Express web site. For more information, visit shipping and ordering.
How does California Cryobank screen donors for the Zika virus?
California Cryobank is currently following the FDA's recommendations to reduce the risk of Zika virus transmission by human cell and tissue products.
Donor travel history is obtained at every donation. Donors are ineligible to donate for six months following travel to regions identified by the CDC as at-risk for mosquito-borne Zika transmission. A six month deferral from donating is considered a very conservative window (ample time) to mitigate transmission through viral shedding. More information about the Zika virus can be found on the CDC website: www.cdc.gov/zika/about
If you have further concerns, please contact our Client Services Department at 866-927-9622.
How does California Cryobank screen donors for the Human Papilloma virus?
California Cryobank screens all of our donors to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV, by excluding donors with known risk factors. Each donor is also given a physical examination with particular attention to the genital area for evidence of HPV infection. There are no FDA approved tests for routine screening of semen donors for HPV. California Cryobank only uses tests that have been validated for both accuracy and reliability, and are licensed by the FDA. They are performed in an independent licensed and accredited laboratory. We believe that the use of unproven tests and methods with claims of improved safety constitute false and misleading advertising.
Whom do I notify to report a pregnancy?
Please contact our Client Services Department at 866-927-9622 to report an outcome of insemination and/or the birth of your child. You may also complete the Outcome of Insemination Report online.
Where can I find books on related topics?
California Cryobank has created a California Cryobank Book Store, in association with Amazon, in response to client requests for book titles. The California Cryobank Book Store contains photographs and brief summaries of a variety of books. The links will take you directly to the Amazon website where you can purchase each book. (Please be aware that California Cryobank is not recommending or endorsing any particular book).
What type of storage terms do you offer if I want to purchase and store sperm for a particular donor?
California Cryobank offers storage terms for purchase and store accounts ranging from 6 months to 10 years. Purchase and Store accounts are a great way to ensure that vials from the donor you have selected are available for both current and future family building needs.
Do you have a vial buyback option?
Yes, our Vial Buyback Offer applies to vials that are being stored at one of our facilities. Vials are purchased back for 50% of the original vial purchase price. Once vials are shipped or picked up from a California Cryobank facility, they are not eligible for buyback. Additional rules may apply.
Do you have a vial exchange option?
Yes, our Vial Exchange Program allows you to exchange vials that are being stored at one of our facilities. You have 30 days to exchange your vials. After 30 days, an administrative fee will apply. Once vials are shipped or picked up from a California Cryobank facility, they are not eligible for exchange. Additional rules may apply.
Do you offer vials for use in Assisted Reproductive Technologies, such as in vitro fertilization?
Yes, all California Cryobank vial types can be used for IVF or ICSI procedures. Vials labeled as IVF or ICSI are specifically created for ART procedures as they have a lower number of sperm than IUI or ICI vials. Availability of these vials may vary by donor. ART vials are available for selected California Cryobank donors. They are produced in both intracervical (ICI) and intrauterine (IUI) specimen preparations.