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Education Center FAQ

No doubt, you have lots of questions bouncing around in your head right now. Here are some of the most common questions we hear. If you have additional questions (and, you will), please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our additional resources section is also a great source for additional information.

Choosing a sperm donor is a personal process. Cryobio provides the tools you need to help you make the best choices to build your family.

Donor Search: You can do a general search using our Donor Search function and filter donors according to traits that are important to you. You can do this without registering or creating an account.

Donor Information Packages: If you want more information to make your selection, we offer three different Donor Information Packages.  Just create an account, select a package, and you will have access to the information included for 90 days:

Starter: Includes basic information, including a short description of the donor, medical history, genetic testing, and ability to save favorites. Free! 

Enhanced: Everything in Starter, plus handwritten responses to questions, additional baby photos, an enhanced profile including appearance, personality, hobbies and interests, and staff impressions. Free!

Advanced: Everything in Enhanced, plus Kiersey personality tests, audio interviews with the donors, and access to available adult photos. $50.00

Note: Donors must give written consent for the release of this information; therefore, not all additional information is available for every donor.

Photos: We also offer photo match reports.

Photo Match: Photo match is a helpful tool for when you have an ideal donor in mind or when you are overwhelmed by the choices.  You fill out a form indicating which features your ideal donor has and then you add in any additional physical and social characteristics that you value.  You can also provide us a photo of a spouse, relative, friend, or someone whose facial features you like.  We use the form and the photo to compare with our donor list and provide you a detailed description and ranking of the four best-matched donors.

Genetic Testing: All of our donors have undergone some form of genetic screening and testing, however, the level of testing varies by donor.  Some of the donors have had more advanced genetic testing than others. You should consider what level of genetic screening and testing you want the donor to have undergone, and look in their profile to see if they have had this screening and testing done.  Genetic screening and testing are particularly important if you are a carrier for any genetic disease.  If you don’t know if you are a carrier of any genetic diseases you should consider undergoing genetic screening and testing before selecting a donor. Please see the genetic testing and screening page for more information and contact us if you have any questions.

Open or Non-ID Release Donors:

Cryobio believes there is no one size fits all family. Each person can create their family with donor sperm in the way they want to.

Cryobio historically offered what we called Open and Anonymous donors. However, identifying people has become much easier than in the past due to the increasing use of technology such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing (23 and me, Ancestry), social media, and the general internet. Additionally, many people are curious about themselves and their family, whether social or biological. Donor conceived people are curious, intended/recipient parents are curious, even donors are curious. For these reasons, we have made a change in the terms we use to describe our donors and the types of donors we offer.

It has never been our policy to restrict donor conceived people, parents, or donors from connecting if that is what all parties want. We have only asked and we continue to ask that everyone involved, including intended parents, offspring, donors, and associated friends and family members, be respectful of each other and their right to connect or remain private, whichever they wish.

So for now, Cryobio will continue to offer Open Donors and Non-ID Release (previously Anonymous) donors on our website, and all new donors will have the option of becoming ID Release or ID Release Plus donors. Our general policies and the information available about Open and Non-ID Release donors remain the same. We have always and will always provide the donor’s non-identifying information we have available—this includes personal and family health history, social background information, results from the infectious or genetic disease screening or testing that was performed—to the donor conceived person if they contact us after they turn 18. We have always and we will always review all medical concerns we are alerted to in offspring with our genetic counselor and reach out to donors when we believe the donor could be a contributing factor.

Cryobio’s Donor Categories:

Open Donors. These donors have agreed to have Cryobio help mediate initial contact between the donor and the donor conceived person when they reached 18. Because of the amount of time that passes between when the donor originally enters the program and when any donor conceived person will turn 18, this original agreement is not a guarantee that the donor will be open to communication. We cannot force donors to engage in communication. However, we understand the value of this potential contact and will make multiple attempts to make this happen. We will not give the donor the name or contact information of you or your child, without written permission and not until the child turns 18 and requests it.

Non-ID Release. These donors identifying information is confidential, meaning we won’t release certain information—name, date of birth, and address–without their consent. We previously called these donors Anonymous donors. We made a name change because, while these donors’ names and contact info have always been held confidentially by us, we think that calling them Anonymous donors is confusing. These donors can always switch to being ID Release or ID Release Plus donors.

ID Release. These donors have agreed to release identifying information—name, date of birth, and address—when a donor conceived person turns 18 and requests it. These donors can switch to being ID Release Plus donors but cannot switch to being Non-ID Release donors.

ID Release Plus. These donors have agreed to release identifying information—name, date of birth, address, email, and phone number—when a donor conceived person turns 18 and requests it. These donors cannot switch to being another category of donor.

 

Each Cryobio donor goes through a thorough medical qualification process to enter our donor program.

All donors:

  • Provide a personal health history and a three-generation family health history to evaluate if there are diseases or conditions that could be passed along. A history of certain diseases in the donor or his immediate family excludes him from becoming a Cryobio sperm donor, some examples of these diseases are Type 1 Diabetes, schizophrenia, and Huntington’s Disease.
  • Complete a screening questionnaire to determine if he has any lifestyle, health, or even travel history factors, that suggests that he may be at an increased risk for communicable diseases.
  • Undergo initial and periodic communicable disease testing.
  • Undergo basic genetic screening and testing, chromosome analysis, and some donors have also had expanded carrier screening for certain recessive genetic diseases.
  • Have a physical and his personal and family health history reviewed by our physician.
  • Have a consult with our genetic counselor to review his personal and family health history and the results of his genetic screening and testing to determine his acceptability for our donor program.

Note: Cryobio believes that the medical qualification process each donor goes through and the required sperm quarantine help us to select healthy donors and provide safe to use sperm.  However, there is no guarantee that the donor is perfectly healthy or that he will not go on to develop health issues in the future.  All testing and screening have the potential for error and even without testing error many diseases and conditions are either undetectable with current testing methods, or of uncertain heredity or are the result of either a spontaneous mutation or the natural reproduction and aging process.  We cannot guarantee that a child born after using donor sperm will be perfectly healthy and disease-free.

Cryobio understands that you want to start your future family as soon as possible. To order sperm vials you need to be under the care of a physician or other health care provider. We require a physician authorization form before we can ship sperm vials to your house or physician’s office.

Your physician is a valuable part of your family formation process, before attempting to become pregnant please contact your health care provider to discuss:

  • Preconception screening and testing. This can include whether you would benefit from any or all of the following: a physical, a review of your personal and family health history, vaccinations, prenatal vitamins, fertility medications, disease and condition screening and testing, genetic carrier screening, and testing, and a referral to a genetic counselor.
  • Treatment policies. Each physician’s office has its own policies and procedures for inseminations. Your physician should go over the timing of your insemination, the number and type of vials you should order for each insemination, and how far in advance of your procedure the vials should arrive at the physician’s office.
  • Infertility treatment. If additional interventions or a visit to a fertility specialist may be beneficial in order to help you achieve a pregnancy. You can use donor sperm in more advanced fertility procedures.
  • Additional necessary care. Care during and after your pregnancy.

Note: Cryobio is happy to assist you with the donor selection process, answer your questions about our donors, and set up an appointment with our genetic counselor. However, we are not providing medical advice and we do require you to be under the care of a physician in order to use our services.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates which communicable diseases reproductive donors are tested for and how often they are tested. Most of these diseases are sexually transmitted and could cause health issues in you or your child if you were to be infected. As the FDA requires, Cryobio’s donors are tested for communicable diseases when they apply to be a donor and also periodically while they are in the program. Every sperm sample is quarantined for at least 180 days, and the donor is retested before the vial is released for sale.

All donors are tested for the following communicable diseases:

    • HIV 1 and 2 including NAT (Nucleic Acid testing)
    • HTLV 1 and 2
    • Hepatitis B Antigen and Core Antibody including NAT
    • Hepatitis C Antibody including NAT
    • Syphilis
    • Gonorrhea
    • Chlamydia
    • Cytomegalovirus (CMV Total; if positive, CMV IgM is performed)
    • West Nile Virus (WNV)

The FDA periodically updates the list of required tests for sperm donors. If a donor is not available to undergo a newly required test, this may affect the availability of his sperm.

Shipping

Provider Authorization Form

  • We will ship to your physician’s office or to your home if your physician will submit a prescription order or the Provider Authorization Form indicating you are under a physician’s care.
  • Vials are shipped in a specialized nitrogen vapor tank that can keep the vials frozen for 7 days from the ship date.
  • Before shipping the vials, we require payment in full and a current completed and signed Sperm Use Agreement from you, and your partner if applicable, on file. Some donors have undergone additional genetic screening, if the donor you select is one of these donors, we require a current completed and signed Additional Agreement from you and your partner, if applicable, on file.
  • We accept all major credit cards for online orders. Please call if you want to use cash, check, or money order.
  • Orders placed online by 12 pm EST can be shipped that same business day. Orders placed by 2 pm EST by phone can also be shipped that same business day. Orders generally arrive 1-2 business days after they are shipped. We do not ship orders out on the weekend or during major holidays.
  • We recommend that you plan to receive the vials the day before they are needed. We ship the vials on the date you request when you checkout if it is a business day.  If it is not a business day, your shipment will go out the next business day. Please be aware of weekends and holidays, as we do not recommend shipping on a Friday or before major holidays.  You should also check with your physician’s office to confirm their schedule for accepting sperm shipments.
  • Your doctor’s office should check the tank when they receive it and make sure your vials are still frozen. If the vials are thawed, they need to be used immediately or discarded, they cannot be refrozen. Please contact Cryobio immediately if you have any concerns when your doctor receives your vials.
  • Shipping fees include the return of the tank to Cryobio, instructions about tank return will be included with your shipment.

Pick-Up

  • If you are in the Columbus, OH area, you can pick up your vials to save on shipping costs. To take advantage of this option, you need a written request from your physician and a scheduled pick-up time. We charge a $200 per week rental fee if the tank is not returned within 14 days.

Note: Cryobio is not responsible for shipments that are delayed due to inclement weather, FedEx’s schedule, or other shipping issues beyond our control.

Cryobio believes there is no one size fits all family. Each person can create their family with donor sperm in the way they want to.

Cryobio historically offered what we called Open and Anonymous donors. However, identifying people has become much easier than in the past due to the increasing use of technology such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing (23 and me, Ancestry), social media, and the general internet. Additionally, many people are curious about themselves and their family, whether social or biological. Donor conceived people are curious, intended/recipient parents are curious, even donors are curious. For these reasons, we have made a change in the terms we use to describe our donors and the types of donors we offer.

It has never been our policy to restrict donor conceived people, parents, or donors from connecting if that is what all parties want. We have only asked and we continue to ask that everyone involved, including intended parents, offspring, donors, and associated friends and family members, be respectful of each other and their right to connect or remain private, whichever they wish.

So for now, Cryobio will continue to offer Open Donors and Non-ID Release (previously Anonymous) donors on our website, and all new donors will have the option of becoming ID Release or ID Release Plus donors. Our general policies and the information available about Open and Non-ID Release donors remain the same. We have always and will always provide the donor’s non-identifying information we have available—this includes personal and family health history, social background information, results from the infectious or genetic disease screening or testing that was performed—to the donor conceived person if they contact us after they turn 18. We have always and we will always review all medical concerns we are alerted to in offspring with our genetic counselor and reach out to donors when we believe the donor could be a contributing factor.

Cryobio’s Donor Categories:

Open Donors. These donors have agreed to have Cryobio help mediate initial contact between the donor and the donor conceived person when they reached 18. Because of the amount of time that passes between when the donor originally enters the program and when any donor conceived person will turn 18, this original agreement is not a guarantee that the donor will be open to communication. We cannot force donors to engage in communication. However, we understand the value of this potential contact and will make multiple attempts to make this happen. We will not give the donor the name or contact information of you or your child, without written permission and not until the child turns 18 and requests it.

Non-ID Release. These donors identifying information is confidential, meaning we won’t release certain information—name, date of birth, and address–without their consent. We previously called these donors Anonymous donors. We made a name change because, while these donors’ name and contact info have always been held confidentially by us, we think that calling them Anonymous donors is confusing. These donors can always switch to being ID Release or ID Release Plus donors.

ID Release. These donors have agreed to release identifying information—name, date of birth, and address—when a donor conceived person turns 18 and requests it. These donors can switch to being ID Release Plus donors but cannot switch to being Non-ID Release donors.

ID Release Plus. These donors have agreed to release identifying information—name, date of birth, address, email, and phone number—when a donor conceived person turns 18 and requests it. These donors cannot switch to being another category of donor.

 

Yes, we can help you do that with a photo match.  Some people have an ideal donor in mind, but for some people, this can be a difficult decision.  There are so many to choose from and it is difficult to decide which characteristics you are looking for in a donor.  Photo match can help you in either situation.

To get started with photo match, you fill out a form indicating which features your ideal donor would have. This form has several categories of physical characteristics that you can rank in order of importance, and there is a space to add in additional physical characteristics that aren’t included on the form and any social characteristics you want to be considered as well. You can also provide us with a photo of a spouse, relative, friend, or someone whose physical features you like.  We use the form and the photo as a starting point to compare with our donor list and then we provide you with a list of the four closest matches.

You will receive a detailed description of the four donors in ranked order and how their physical and social characteristics compare to the characteristics you indicated on the form and in the photo you provided.

Photo match costs $125 it will take seven days from when we receive your request, and you can choose to receive your results in email form or in a phone call from one of Cryobio’s staff.

The more information you can provide to us the better.

Some people want to use someone they know as a donor, these are called directed or known donors. These types of donors are required by the FDA to undergo screening and testing just like our Open or Non-ID Release donors, and we freeze and store the sperm in the same way as well.  We provide screening and testing of directed donors at our Columbus, OH location.  When screening and testing are complete, sperm samples can be collected, frozen, and stored at any of our three locations.

One kind of directed donor is providing sperm, but they are not going to be a parent to the child.  Some examples of this kind of directed donor are the friend of a lesbian couple or single woman, a brother of a cancer patient who has become infertile due to his treatment, or a brother of the non-egg provider in a lesbian couple.

Directed donor screening and testing are also required when you are using a gestational carrier, some examples of this kind of directed donor are either the male partner in a heterosexual couple or the sperm providing partner in a gay couple.  In these cases, the directed donor is both providing sperm and will be a parent of the child.

If you have questions about whether you are a directed donor or whether you need screening and testing done to use a directed donor, please contact us.

Yes, but to ensure this is possible it is important that you purchase and store enough of the same donor’s sperm to complete your family.  Some circumstances to consider when trying to determine how many vials to purchase and store:

  • Siblings. If you want to use the same donor for future pregnancies, you should order additional vials and store them with Cryobio to make sure that you have the opportunity to do this.
  • Limited availability. When the supply of vials for a donor becomes low, Cryobio will indicate Limited Availability on the donor list. Once all vials are sold, there will not be any more available.
  • Donor waitlist. if your selected donor is no longer available, please add your name to the waitlist to be notified in case any vials become available.
  • Repeat treatments. Unfortunately, sometimes you may not get pregnant on your first try, so it is important to consult with your physician so that you order enough vials and also the appropriate vial type for your treatment, whether it is an insemination or an ART procedure.

If you have chosen to be open about your decision to use donor sperm or do not have a partner with sperm, the blood type may not be as important in donor selection. However, Rh factor is something to consider and you should discuss this with your doctor. If you have an Rh negative blood type, your doctor may recommend that you choose a donor that is Rh negative, if possible. In any case, if you are Rh negative, you should notify your obstetrician of the donor’s blood type, as specialized treatment may be required when there are differing Rh Factors.

Note: Matching of blood types does NOT necessarily guarantee that either partner will be able to donate blood and/or tissue to the offspring. Rh factors will be the determining factor in those situations. Inheritance of Rh factors is difficult to predict without complete family histories of both partners.