Sperm banking is, in most cases, a simple and straightforward process. It is not time consuming nor “appointment intensive.” Although the process differs slightly between cryobanks, the basic procedure remains similar:
- An appointment is set with the laboratory to meet with a lab representative, review your case history and medical background, and to fill out necessary paperwork.
- Many labs require an initial test freeze of the sperm before actually conducting the banking and they may require that you return for a second appointment. Some labs conduct the tests and banking during your first visit.
- You may be given a choice of producing a specimen at home or at the lab site. If you choose to collect at a laboratory you will be given a private room. Visual material may also be made available to you. If you choose to collect at home you will be given clear and exact instructions.
- You may choose to bank sperm from one ejaculation (one collection yields 1-6 vials of sperm). However, in most cases, it is desirable to bank more ejaculates. On average, patients bank three, as the quality of the sperm often necessitates using more than one vial of sperm for each attempt to achieve a pregnancy. If you choose to bank more ejaculates you can do so by setting up further appointments for future collections. Ideally, you should leave a minimum of 2 days between appointments to build up your sperm count.
- The sperm is frozen for as long as you choose to maintain it.
- When you are ready to use the sperm you notify the bank in writing. The bank then releases the specimen, shipping it to whatever physician you request. When and if you want the specimens destroyed, most facilities will do so only with notarized instructions from you.
- If there are no sperm banks in your area, there are banks that will collect the sperm through the mail. This is not the most desirable solution since the quality of the sperm deteriorates during travel.
To learn more about the process of freezing sperm, click here.
If you seeking a sperm donation, or are a prospective donor, here is a list of sperm banks by location.