We will be closed November 24th and 25th in observance of Thanksgiving. Please be advised our shipping will be closed on Wednesday November 23rd.

Please be advised, masks are required when visiting our facility. Thank you!

About Storing Sperm

How do I get started?

To begin the sperm storage process, please call us at 510-841-1858 to request an information packet and relevant paperwork for Directed/Known Donors as they need to have a physical exam and complete all paperwork before an appointment can be scheduled. For Client Depositors please call to schedule your initial appointment. At the first visit you will 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 will not store the sample and we will 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 cannot 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.

The person or people who will be using the sperm to achieve pregnancy will need to register as recipients on the account. 


Who stores their sperm?

Client Depositor sperm storage accounts:

-For use with a spouse or intimate partner

-A recent diagnosis

-Upcoming treatment or surgery

-Transitioning MTF

-Fertility preservation

-Frequent travel while trying to conceive

Directed or Known Donor storage accounts:

-You are storing for someone you know. 

-You are storing for use with a surrogate

-Storing now for an unknown reproductive partner in the future

What is the difference? What kind of account do I need?

For individuals who are storing semen for use with their spouse or intimate partner, you can open a Client Depositor Account. This account has minimal required FDA testing. Please see Sperm Storage Fees for pricing. These vials cannot be used for surrogacy or co-parenting arrangements. 

A Directed Donor Account is for individuals who are storing semen to be used with someone who is not their spouse or intimate partner, or for an unknown future recipient. This account has extensive FDA required testing and screening as well as a six month vial quarantine. Please see Sperm Storage Fees for pricing. This account is the most flexible and these vials, once released, can be used with partners, surrogacy, co-parenting and other arrangements.
Preliminary paperwork and documents are required and must be submitted prior to initial visit.

Known Donor Account is the same as a Directed Donor (vials for partners, surrogacy, co-parenting) in terms of FDA required testing, however, it is set up without the six month quarantine. Instead of a 6-month quarantine, for a Known Donor account the donor is required to have STD testing every 7 days while making deposits. Please see Sperm Storage Fees for pricing. Preliminary paperwork and documents are required and must be submitted prior to scheduling an initial visit.

When is the best time to ask questions about fees and storage billing?

Please ask questions about fees, timing, requirements, recommendations, etc. before setting up the first storage appointment. We are here to help and we do our best to make all of the information available to you. The process of storing sperm can be complicated and costly and it's best to get all the details lined up ahead of time.  We ask that you take your time and avoid rushing and skipping over details. Asking questions before prevents confusion and upset once the account is being opened and fees and timelines are being assessed. 

How long can sperm be frozen?

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.

How can I increase my sperm count?

Sperm count can be affected by length of abstinence, nutrition, stress, amount of sleep, drug and alcohol use, and illness. Avoid anything that will cause the testicles to overheat like hot tubs, hot showers, long or daily bike rides.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. Volume can vary with each ejaculate. 

How does freezing affect sperm?

Approximately 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). There is no research at this time on what can be done to increase the survival rate of an individuals sperm during freezing. 

Should I wash my sample(s)?

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 insemination, 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.

Am I guaranteed a baby from the stored semen?

No. Conception depends on a variety of factors such as sperm survival, the sperm count of each sample, and the fertility of the person inseminating. Once thawed and inseminated, frozen sperm only lives up to twenty-four hours inside the uterus as opposed to fresh sperm, which can live for several days.

How many visits should I make to the sperm bank?

One vial = One insemination = One attempt at pregnancy

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 cc in volume. This would create 2 to 4 vials for freezing (vials are one cubic centimeter, or 1 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 and no real average. We can discuss ideals and minimums with you.

Can I provide samples at home?

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 offsite, 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.

What is the procedure for retrieving semen samples?

The donor, Authorized Representative or registered recipient can call to schedule vial retrieval. There are fees associated with retrieval, pick up, and shipping. You can either pick up the samples at TSBC’s office or make arrangements to have them shipped to your home or doctor’s office. Please call us at 510-841-1858 to schedule either of these options. We recommend calling at least seven days before you need your vials to ship to guarantee tank availability. Once the provider or authorized representative has called to schedule these, they'll need to complete and send a shipping/pick up confirmation form before the vials can leave the building. The intended recipient will also need to complete paperwork to register with us.

What is the procedure for canceling storage?

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