Do I have to register to purchase? How long does that take?
All recipients need to register with TSBC to purchase vials. You do not have to register to access our Donor Catalog. It takes 3 to 5 business days to become a registered recipient once all forms including the Medical Professional’s Annual Signature form are submitted. If you need to purchase vials on a shorter deadline, we may be able to expedite your registration for an additional fee–call us for availability. Expedited registrations are processed within 24 hours of receipt.
Why do we only have Identity-Release® Program donors?
Based on our research and 40 years of experience, we find that providing the option for donor-conceived adults to receive the donor’s identity is in the best interests of our families and donors. Therefore, since 2014 TSBC has only accepted donors who are willing to share identifying information with donor-conceived adults.
What is TSBC’s family limit?
Our limit is ten families worldwide for each donor. As recipients may use the same donor for siblings, there may be more than 10 children per donor. Our limit is the lowest in the nation. Maintaining our limit requires timely reports of pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes. We conduct regular audits to collect this information.
Why does donor ethnicity matter?
There are implications to selecting a donor of a different ethnic background than you, your partner, or existing children–particularly if you are selecting a donor that may result in children who do not resemble you, your partner, or other family members. If you are considering selecting a donor that does not share your ancestry, we encourage you to read Why Donor Ethnicity Matters.
Why do I need a medical professional?
We are required by state and federal regulations to ensure that you 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.
What is a medical professional?
A Medical Professional is a certified professional who can write prescriptions (for example a physician, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or physician assistant). Once an individual Medical Professional is registered, every other licensed member of their practice, clinic or hospital is considered registered with TSBC.
What are the types of insemination methods?
- Vaginal inseminations are typically performed in the privacy of the recipient’s home by the recipient and/or their partner. Vaginal insemination requires a needleless syringe to insert the sperm into the vagina. Vaginal inseminations can be performed using washed (IUI) vials or raw/unwashed vials.
- Intrauterine inseminations (IUI) are performed by a trained medical provider and most commonly occur in a medical professional facility (fertility clinic, midwife’s office, etc). Some licensed midwives can also perform IUIs at the recipient’s home. IUIs are completed by inserting a catheter directly into the uterus where the sperm is delivered. Recipients can have medicated or unmedicated IUIs. This is at the direction of a fertility specialist. IUIs can only be performed using washed (IUI) vials as washing removes seminal fluid and dead/dying sperm to create a concentrated 0.5cc vial – the maximum amount of fluid the uterus can hold without cramping and expelling the sperm.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) requires a medicated cycle followed by the retrieval of eggs from the body. The eggs are then fertilized in a petri dish using sperm to create embryos. Those embryos are either frozen for future use or transferred fresh back into the uterus two to six days later.
Can I inseminate at home?
Yes. All of the same steps are required for registration if you plan home inseminations. Your doctor still needs to sign your paperwork. Please read Home Inseminations for more details. Many recipients, especially those under 35 years of age start with home insemination.
What’s the difference between washed (IUI-ready) and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) samples?
Washed, also called IUI-ready, samples have been processed before freezing so that they can be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI)–these samples can also be used for ICI (vaginal) or IVF. All IUI-ready samples are only 0.5cc in volume, as this is the maximum volume the uterus can accommodate without cramping and expelling the sperm.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) vials are ideal for use with IVF. ART vials with a motile sperm count of at least 14 million motile sperm per cc can also be used for IUI or ICI (vaginal) inseminations.
Does TSBC have a vial buyback program?
No, all vials are sold on a non-refundable basis. We do make exceptions to the policy if the vials cannot be released for any reason. On a case-by-case basis, a 50% courtesy refund may be approved.
What are TSBC’s sperm count guarantees for program donors?
We guarantee a post-thaw minimum of 20 million motile sperm per cc and 20% motility in washed/IUI-ready samples. As washed samples are 0.5cc in volume, this translates to 10 million motile sperm per washed vial. Washed-IUI ready vials are recommended for intrauterine insemination (IUI) and vaginal inseminations.
Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) vials have a post-thaw guarantee of 10 million motile sperm per cc with 15% motility. These vials are 0.5cc meaning the guarantee is 5 million motile sperm per vial. ART vials are recommended for IVF cycles but ART vials with counts of 14 million motile sperm per cc can be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Can you explain what sperm counts and motility percentages mean?
A “total sperm count” will provide how many million sperm cells there are in 1 cubic centimeter of semen. (1cc =1mL). This includes the number of sperm cells that are alive and moving and those that are not. A “motile sperm count” is only the number of cells that are moving. “Motility percentage” is the percentage of moving sperm cells in relation to the total. For example, if a sample is reported as having 100 million total sperm per cc, and a motility of 50%, then there are 50 million sperm actively moving in 1 cc.
What does it mean when a donor is positive for CMV?
A donor who tests positive/reactive for CMV IgG antibodies means they have had a past CMV infection. We perform a confirmatory test to determine if they are actively shedding the virus currently. If the confirmatory CMV IgM is reactive, the donor is not allowed to donate, and all vials collected are destroyed. Furthermore, our six-month quarantine policy ensures that should a donor test positive for a current or recent infection, all vials collected since the last negative test are destroyed. More on CMV.
How does age affect fertility?
As people 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 and begins in one’s late 20’s. However, if you’re in your late 30’s or early forties, there are many options available to you; we recommend having a comprehensive fertility examination and to discuss with your provider the type of insemination you should consider. See Success Rates: Considering Age and Insemination Method.
What is TSBC’s vaginal insemination & IUI combined success rate?
There is almost a 1 in 5 chance (18.5%) of conceiving each cycle attempt based on TSBC cycle research. It is critical to consider rates by age, especially for recipients who are age 35+. See Success Rates: Considering Age and Insemination Method.
What if I want to use the same donor for siblings?
We make every effort to set aside inventory for families who want to use the same donor for siblings. Once you have reported your first live birth, you can purchase additional vials that we can store for you until you are ready to try to conceive again. This is the best way to ensure access to vials for siblings in the future.
When should I schedule my shipment or pick-up?
We recommend calling at least seven days before you need your vial(s) to leave our facility via shipping. We recommend calling at least 24 to 48 hours ahead to schedule a pick-up appointment. We make every attempt to accommodate retrievals on a shorter timeframe but as a small nonprofit we cannot always make accommodations.