FAQs

FAQs

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A woman's peak fertility is often between Day 10 and Day 16 of her cycle. Determining the cycle length is counting Day One of your period to Day One of your next period. The length of you *cycle* is not the same as the length of your *period*. 

Signs of fertility include: clear, egg like vaginal discharge, breast tenderness, confirmation of LH Surge using an over the counter predictor kit. 

About Donor Insemination

To get pregnant using frozen donor sperm you need to know when, during the month you are fertile. There are only one or two days (24-36 hrs) during the month that a woman is fertile. A woman's peak fertility is the 24-36 hrs BEFORE ovulation. In order to get pregnant you need to know when you are going to ovulate so that you can inseminate the day or two before. Before purchasing donor sperm and beginning the insemination process please learn more about your fertile cycle by tracking it for at least 3 months. There are websites and apps for your phone that can help you Track Your Ovulation. 

You inseminate after you have confirmed your are in your peak fertility zone. To know this you need to track your cycle for a few months before you start inseminating. To get pregnant you need to inseminate BEFORE you ovulate. To know when you are going to ovulate please purchase over the counter Ovulation Predictor Kits and use them until you see the pattern of YOUR ovulation cycle. It can vary from month to month. Look online and read about : how to know when to inseminate? How to know when I am ovulating? The top 3 signs of peak fertility. 

It takes less than 3 business days to become a registered recipient with TSBC. The count begins when we have received all of your required paperwork. You need to be a registered recipient to purchase sperm. We do an an EXPEDITED Registration option- this means you will be registered within 4 hours if your paperwork is received before noon.  Once you are registered you can call and purchase sperm and set up a pick-up or a shipment. Please call one week prior to needing vials to set -up a shipment. Because we are a small office, last minute shipments can rarely be accommodated. ie: Call on a Monday to set up a shipment if you need the vials to ship out the following Monday. Vials shipped on a Monday will arrive to you on Wednesday via Fed Ex 2-day delivery.

A Medical Professional is a certified professional who is able to write prescriptions (for example a physician, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or physician’s assistant). Once an individual Medical Professional is registered, every other licensed member of his or her practice, clinic or hospital is considered registered with TSBC. 

We strongly encourage you to select several donors that you're interested in, as our inventory fluctuates and it won't always be possible to use the same donor every cycle.

We are required by state and federal regulations to ensure that you are working with a medical provider and have access to care during your pregnancy. Since TBSC does not provide these services, registering your Medical Professional is the way we comply with these regulations. The Medical Professional can be your midwife, general practitioner, OB/GYN, etc. You can also ask one of our staff for a listing of registered Medical Professionals in your area. 

We calculate our success rate per cycle attempt by comparing the total number of conceptions resulting from each type of insemination to the total number of conception attempts for each type of insemination. Our success rate for vaginal insemination is approximately 8% (equivalent to a 1 in 12 chance of conceiving). Our success rate for IUI (intrauterine insemination) is approximately 16% (equivalent to a 1 in 6 chance of conceiving). These are overall rates and there is considerable variation by age group.

Our limit is ten families worldwide for each donor. As clients may use the same donor for siblings, a donor may have more than ten offspring in all.  Our limit is lower than that of most other sperm banks and lower than that recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.  Once a donor reaches Family Limit he will be taken off the General Catalog and put on the Sibling Catalog only and will only be available to families who already have children with that donor. 

Yes. absolutely. We will ship to your home.  You will still need to follow all the same steps to get registered, all of the same forms are needed. But Yes, we will ship purchased vials to your home and you can very easily do the insemination on your own.  Please read here for more details. 

As women age, their fertility declines due to decreased quantity and quality of eggs. With age, fertile cervical mucus also tends to decrease and cycles become shorter. Declining fertility is inevitable even for very healthy women, and this natural process begins in our late twenties. However, if you're in your late thirties or early forties, there are many options available to you; we recommend consulting with your doctor about doing a fertility evaluation and doing intrauterine inseminations (IUI). Read More...

Yes.  We follow a strict FDA screening process so that we can presume that all of our donors who are positive/reactive for CMV IgG antibodies and negative/non-reactive for IgM are non-infectious for CMV. A donor who tests positive/reactive for CMV IgG antibodies simply means that at some point in his life he was "exposed to" CMV it does not mean that he has a current CMV infection. We do a secondary blood screening all donors to confirm that they are CMV IgM negative.  Furthermore, our six-month quarantine policy ensures that should a donor test positive for a current or recent infection, we would destroy all his potentially infectious samples before they were ever released to recipients. More on CMV

Recipients are often surprised to hear that a donor has sold out. Many of our donors are quite popular, especially if they are participating in our Identity-Release® Program, so even if a donor is listed on our current catalog, there is no guarantee we'll have inventory available the next time you look.

If a donor is listed as SOLD OUT there are no more vials and you need to choose another donor. If a donor is listed as TEMPORALITY SOLD OUT there will be more vials released at a later time and based on when you need vials you will either choose another donor or asked to be added to the Notification List and then wait for a call about his next release.  This means when the donor releases more vials for purchase we will give you a call and notify you that he is back.

We make every effort to set aside inventory for clients who wish to have more than one child using the same donor. Please let us know your plans as soon as your first child is born, and we can advise you on purchasing vials and storing them with us. We will prioritize allocating what we call sibling inventory to you and/or your partner. Sibling inventory is set aside from general inventory and is only available to couples who have already had a child using the donor.

No. TSBC does not release identifying information about parents or their children to donors, under any circumstances. In fact, we do not release any identifying information about our families to other parties except when requested to do so by families who choose to participate in our Family Contact List

We guarantee a post-thaw minimum of 20 million motile sperm per cc and 15% motility in every regular, unwashed sample.We guarantee a post-thaw minimum of 20 million motile sperm per cc and 20% motility in every washed, washed/IUI-ready sample.As washed samples are only .5cc in volume, this guarantee translates to 10 million motile sperm per IUI-ready vial. . Note: Our guarantee applies to TSBC program donor sperm samples only. We do not have a minimum guarantee for samples collected from Directed or Known Donors or from men storing for their own future use.

Research from TSBC and elsewhere indicates that many donor-conceived youth and adults have a healthy curiosity about their donor. Therefore, whether or not the donor is open-identity may be more important to your future child than it is to you. Regardless of which type of donor you ultimately choose, we encourage you to consider this an important decision that will have future implications for your child once they are an adult and are making their own decisions.

Regular or raw samples are intended for vaginal home insemination (also referred to as intracervical insemination or ICI). IUI-ready or (washed) samples have been processed before freezing so that they can be used for intrauterine insemination. This is why they cost more than regular samples. IUI must be performed in a sterile setting (usually a doctor's office), as a catheter is run through the cervical opening and the sperm is deposited directly into the uterus. Seminal fluid contains prostaglandins that would cause painful cramping of the uterus, so the seminal fluid is washed out of IUI-ready samples, leaving only sperm. All IUI-ready samples are only .5cc in volume, as this is the maximum volume the uterus can accommodate without cramping and expelling the sperm.

No. A raw sample must be washed first before it can used for an IUI. It is not safe to use a regular, unwashed sample for IUI. If you have purchased a regular, unwashed sample and are planning to have an IUI, your medical professional will need to refer you to a qualified technician who can thaw and wash the sample for you prior to the insemination. Insemination must be scheduled within an hour or two of thawing - once thawed a sample cannot be refrozen. Since the process of washing does kill motile sperm and we cannot predict the outcome of these thawed washes, our standard guaranteed motile sperm count and percent motility does not apply to these samples.

It is perfectly safe to use a washed, IUI-ready sample for vaginal insemination. The washing process removes all seminal fluid, including cellular debris and most of the nonmotile sperm, resulting in a clean sample that contains only the most vigorous sperm. Many of our recipients have reported pregnancies from vaginal inseminations with washed, IUI-ready samples.

Motile sperm count expresses how many millions of motile (living, moving) sperm there are per cc (cubic centimeter) in every sample we sell. Motility is a percentage that compares the number of living, moving sperm with the total number of sperm present (alive and dead) in a sample. Motile sperm count is by far the more relevant piece of information

eg: If a sample has 100 million sperm present and 50 million of those sperm are moving (motile) then this sample would be said to have: 50 million motile sperm per cc with 50% motility. 50% of all sperm present are motile. 

Some confusion arises when it is thought that when we say: 50 million motile sperm per cc with 50% motility that we are saying only 50% of the 50 million are moving. That is incorrect. The million count is the most important because it references the TOTAL count. 50 million motile means 50 million sperm moving.  

Our post-thaw minimums are 20 million motile per cc with 20% motility for washed vials. By comparrision, an average sperm count is around 10 million motile sperm per cc. 

Please call us at (510) 841-1858 between 9:00 and 5:00 Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, and our staff would be happy to answer your questions. You are also welcome tosend us a email.

About Storing Sperm

There are many different situations that may provoke opening a sperm storage account. It is a simple, accessible, and affordable option for individuals who are concerned about decreased fertility. Some store because they are facing possible sterility due to cancer treatment or surgery. Others are planning vasectomies or beginning the process of sex reassignment and choose sperm storage as a way of keeping their reproductive options open. Others still store because they are in a dangerous line of work, travel extensively or live separately from their partner or because they are becoming a private directed donor for some one. 

To begin the sperm storage process please call us to request additional information and/or to schedule your initial appointment. At the first visit we will review the Storage Contract with you, and you’ll provide urine, blood and semen samples in our lab. 

For a Client Depositor Account, we do a complete semen analysis on your sample to determine sperm count and motility. If your semen contains no sperm, we won’t store the sample and we’ll reduce the fee for your visit. However, we will store all semen samples that contain some genetic material. Advances in reproductive technologies make it possible for conception to occur, even with samples with very low sperm counts or even from samples with non-motile sperm. 
 
For Directed Donors and Known Donors we highly recommend you schedule a semen analysis and test thaw appointment with TSBC prior to setting up a storage account. At this appointment, the donor provides an ejaculate for evaluation only—the ejaculate is not stored and can not be used for insemination. Our lab will perform a complete semen analysis on the sample, freeze it, and thaw it a week later to assess cryo survival. The semen analysis indicates the donor’s general fertility, and the test thaw indicates how well the donor’s sperm survives freezing. 

For individuals who are storing semen for use with their spouse or intimate partner you will need to open a Client Depositor Account. This account has minimal required FDA testing and costs between $750+ to set-up (price varies based on optional tests and number of return visits).

A Directed Donor Account is for individuals who are storing semen to be used with a woman who is not their spouse or intimate partner. This account has extensive FDA required testing and screening as well as a six month vial quarantine. The cost to set-up this account is between $1525 and $2500+ (price varies based on optional tests and number of return visits). Preliminary paperwork and documents are required prior to initial visit. 
 
A Known Donor Account is the same as a Directed Donor in terms of FDA required testing, however it can be set up without the six month quarantine. The cost to set-up this account is between $1525and $2500+ (price varies based on optional tests and number of return visits). Preliminary paperwork and documents are required prior to initial visit. 

 

We recommend anyone planning to open a Directed or Known donor account have a Semen Analysis and Test Thaw performed before moving forward.  One, to confirm that you are fertile and producing sperm, and two, to make sure that your sperm count is high enough and will successfully survive the freezing process. This is an inexpensive first step to opening up a storage account. 

As long as freezing conditions remain at a constant, very low, temperature, sperm can survive the freezing process indefinitely. Those sperm that die do so within the first 48 hours of freezing, and the attrition rate thereafter is minimal. Frozen semen can be stored for as long as 50 years without additional sperm deterioration beyond that caused by the original freezing process.

Between 50% to 80% of sperm die in the freezing process. Sperm survival varies a great deal from individual to individual and from ejaculate to ejaculate. We prepare a test thaw vial containing a small amount of semen from each stored ejaculate. A week after freezing, we thaw this vial and take a sperm count to determine the sperm survival rate for that ejaculate. (You can call us for test thaw results a week after your initial appointment).

The more visits you are able to make, the more samples will be available for insemination attempts, which can increase the chances of conception. After we determine the volume and post-thaw sperm count of your first ejaculate, we’ll be able to better discuss how many visits you might want to make. An average ejaculate yields between two and four vials of semen (vials are one cubic centimeter—or “cc”—in volume). A post-thaw sperm count of 20 million motile sperm per cc would be optimal to increase the chances of conception. However, there are many variables that we can discuss with you.

TSBC does not automatically wash sperm samples. While sperm washing eliminates seminal plasma and replaces it with a buffered solution that is beneficial to sperm and prepares the sample for an intrauterine inseminations, this manipulation also adds additional stress to the sperm cells. Washing, in conjunction with the freezing process, can reduce the number of sperm that will survive after the sample is thawed. Also, clients have more options when the sperm is not washed prior to freezing, as the end result is usually vials with greater total number motile sperm. For this reason, it's TSBC's policy to freeze semen samples unwashed unless the client specifically requests otherwise. We recommend that you speak with your Medical Professional for help making this decision.

As a general rule, you can expect to inseminate for four to eight cycle attempts before getting pregnant. In fact, fertile heterosexual couples having well-timed intercourse only have a 20-25% chance of getting pregnant in any given cycle. Age, fertility, health, and stress are all factors that will affect conception rates. You can reduce stress by accepting that donor insemination is a process that can take some time. 

No. Conception depends on a variety of factors such as sperm survival, the sperm count of each sample, and the fertility of the woman inseminating. Once thawed, frozen sperm only lives up to twenty-four hours inside a woman’s body as opposed to fresh sperm, which lives for three to five days.

Sperm count can be affected by length of abstinence, nutrition, stress, amount of sleep, drug and alcohol use and illness. The most important step you can take to maximize your sperm count is to abstain from ejaculating for at least forty-eight hours before each storage visit. Forty-eight hours is the minimum amount of time it takes to replenish sperm. Between two to five days of abstinence is optimal. Abstinence of more than five days is likely to cause an accumulation of aging and dead sperm in the ejaculate.

In the event that you no longer wish to continue storing your samples, you must submit and sign a written request authorizing their destruction.

In order to release semen samples, we require a written request signed by the semen provider or the authorized representative designated in the provider's storage agreement. The provider or authorized representative should call to arrange for retrieval of samples; there is a specific release form to fill out and there are fees associated with retrieval and shipping. You can either pick up the samples at TSBC’s offices or make arrangements to have them shipped to your home or doctor’s office. Your spouse or intimate partner will also need to complete our Informed Consent for Recipient of Client Depositor Semen.

As soon as you ejaculate, the sperm in your ejaculate begins to deteriorate. We ask that you provide your semen samples on our premises so our lab can begin the cryopreservation process as soon as possible. If you are unable to visit our offices, on rare occasions we will accept a semen sample that has been provided off-site, but we will ask you to sign a waiver stating that you assume all the risks associated with the reduced sample quality. Please call us for more information.