1. Are your offices open and operating as usual?
Yes, we are doing everything possible to maintain business as usual for our clients. If anything should change with our operating hours, we will provide updates on our website.
2. I have a procedure scheduled soon. Will NW Cryobank still be able to ship my vials?
Currently NW Cryobank will continue shipping orders without any predicted interruption in service. However, it’s important to first check with your physician before you schedule a shipment to ensure that your procedure is still scheduled and to confirm your clinic will be available to receive the specimen. We also recommend scheduling your shipment to arrive at least 48 hours before your insemination in case of any weather or mechanical delays with FedEx.
3. Can you expedite my shipping?
Please call Client Services at 1(800)786-5251 to see if we can expedite your shipment. You may be able to change the ship date or upgrade the shipping option to have your shipment arrive sooner.
4. Can you change my shipping address?
If vials have not left our facility, we may be able to change your shipping address based on the information in your account. Please contact Client Services at 1(800)786-5251 if you need to change your shipping address.
5. Do I need to sign for my vial shipment?
Currently, FedEx may not require a signature in order to keep their clients and team members safe.
6. Can you cancel my shipment?
We are able to cancel your shipment if the vials have not left our facility. Please call Client Services at 1(800)786-5251 if you need to cancel your shipment. We provide flexible storage options so you can store your vials until you are ready to schedule another shipment.
7. If I ship to my clinic and the shipment is refused, will I be credited for my shipment cost?
You should always confirm with your clinic prior to scheduling shipment to confirm that they are accepting shipments. Any refunds will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact Client Services at 1(800)786-5251.
8. Is international shipment affected with delays or restrictions?
Information is changing day to day and it is different for each international location. Please contact Client Services at 1(800)786-5251 to discuss shipment to your location.
9. Will I be able to receive a refund if the coronavirus results in no shipment to the country where I am having my treatment?
We have flexible storage options so you can store your vials in our facility until shipment is available to your country again.
10. I’m afraid my favorite donor will sell out and I am not sure if my insemination will be delayed. Should I buy vials now even if I don’t know when I will need them?
You can purchase vials now and store them at NW Cryobank as long as you need to. We provide flexible storage options so you can store your vials until you are ready to schedule another shipment.
11. How do I know that your sperm donors are not infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19?
Any vials already purchased or currently available for sale were collected and frozen at least 9 months ago, long before the emergence of COVID-19. This is because all donor sperm is subject to a mandatory quarantine period, throughout which, donors are re-screened numerous times for relevant communicable diseases.
12. I am thinking of using/am already working with a Directed Donor who is in the process of donating. Will he still be able to donate now?
We understand there can be a time-sensitive nature to directed donation, and we will work with clients and their donors individually to facilitate a planned directed donation. Please call 1(800)786-5251 to discuss your options further.
13. Are you screening donors for COVID-19?
Yes. As the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged as a global health threat, the CDC and American Association of Tissue banks (AATB) issued recommendations for donor screening. We immediately implemented these recommendations, which initially comprised screening for symptoms, relevant travel history and potential social exposures. In late March we paused sperm donor collections altogether. As we resume the collection of sperm donations, we have implemented additional laboratory screening for SARS-CoV-2 (the viral agent causing COVID-19) on all donors. In addition to monitoring temperature, symptoms and potential exposures, donors will receive frequent and recurrent laboratory testing for the virus while participating in our program. It’s important to note that this type of testing is not recommended or required by any regulatory or accrediting body, however we believe these extra precautions will help us maintain a safe environment for staff, donors and clients.
14. What if a donor has recent COVID-19 exposure and isn’t showing signs of infection?
While thorough screening cannot guarantee a recently infected and asymptomatic donor is detected prior to entering our laboratory, we do require all persons in our facilities to wear a face covering as they have been demonstrated to significantly mitigate asymptomatic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With regard to risk associated with donor sperm vials produced by an asymptomatic but infected individual, there are two considerations. First is the fact that all vials resulting from donations are routinely quarantined for a minimum of six months prior to becoming available for clinical use, in accordance with FDA requirements. Donors are routinely repeatedly screened for an interim medical and social history and for the presence of several infectious disease agents. The other important consideration is the significance of SARS-CoV-2 in donor insemination. See below for a discussion on whether COVID-19 can be spread through donor sperm.
15. Can COVID-19 be transmitted through donor sperm?
It’s important to note that there are a lot of things about this virus that the science community is still learning. With that said, we currently understand that the primary way people are infected is through respiratory droplets, especially those that are aerosolized from the nose and mouth and spread from one person to another in close proximity. There was some concern raised about potential sexual transmission after publication of a small study out of China that identified the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the semen of men who were currently ill with or recently recovered from COVID-19. However, there are many reasons that simply identifying this virus in the sperm of symptomatic infected men does not directly imply risk to recipients of donor insemination. In its most recent update from July 2020, the FDA notes that “respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by implantation, infusion, or transfer of human cells or tissue”. Donor semen is included in this categorization of human cells and tissues. The FDA also notes that “to date, there have been no reported cases of transmission of COVID-19 via these products”. Speak to your physician if you have further questions about donor insemination and COVID-19.
16. Is it safe to get pregnant during the pandemic?
The medical community is still learning about this virus, including the implications to pregnant women. The right time to pursue a pregnancy is a very personal decision that may be best discussed with your healthcare provider who can help you consider all of the relevant factors including your age, health, and individual risk factors. While you’re deciding or waiting for the right time to attempt pregnancy, you can ensure the vials from your favorite donor are available for future use by purchasing your vials now and storing them securely at our facility so that they are available when you’re ready.
17. What precautions are you taking with your staff to ensure that the environment is safe?
Many of our employees are continuing to work remotely so that the essential staff in our facilities can work at safe distances while we continue to provide uninterrupted services to our customers. We have established temperature and health screening of all persons entering our workspaces and we have also provided personal protective equipment to our teams to wear in our facilities.
18. My doctor’s office isn’t open or has limited availability. What are my options?
Knowing that many of our donors sell out fast, you may consider purchasing your vials now to securely store them at our facility. Your vials will be available to ship when you’re ready for treatment. You may also consider an at-home insemination, if it’s an option for you. See more information about this option here: https://www.nwcryobank.com/home-insemination/