Donor Sperm FAQs

Have questions about using donor sperm? Here are answers to some of our most common questions. They are organized in these three sections: Purchasing Donor Sperm, Shipping Donor Sperm Vials, and Sperm Bank Policies, Pricing & Pregnancy. If you can’t find an answer to your question, you can also check our Community Forum or contact us here.


1.      How far in advance do I need to place my order?

We recommend placing your order at least 1 calendar week before your insemination. If you need specimens shipped out on the day that you order, we may be able to do a same-day shipment if you place your order by calling us at 800-786-5251 Monday – Friday before 2:00pm (PST). Additional fees may apply.

2.      Which paperwork do I need to complete before placing an order?

You can find all of the forms that you need to complete online in My Account or during checkout.

3.    Can I order vials if I am not ready to use them for an insemination?

Yes, we offer vial storage so you can purchase vials of your favorite donor and not worry about your donor selling out of vials before your insemination. We provide 30 days of free storage with each order. Monthly and yearly storage options are available when your free storage expires. View storage fees >>

4.      Can orders be placed over the phone?

We strongly recommend orders be placed online. However, we are more than happy to facilitate orders over the phone as needed. International orders must always be placed over the phone.

5.      How do I ship vials I currently have in storage?

This function is currently unavailable online. Please call us at 1-800-786-5251 to schedule a shipment from storage.

6.      How many vials should I order?

We recommend talking with your health care provider to determine how many vials you will need. The number of cycles required to conceive depends on many factors, including your age, fertility, and procedure you have planned. Our clients typically use 1-2 vials for each cycle.

Our donor inventory can change rapidly, so if you think you may want to have more than one child with the same donor, you should consider purchasing additional vials to store for later on. Storing vials will make sure that you can use the same donor for Baby #2 and Baby #3.

7.    Do you offer a vial buy back program?

Yes, we offer a vial buy back program. If you no longer wish to store your vials, you may be able to sell them back for 50% of what you paid. Our vial buy back is at the discretion of NW Cryobank. The vial buy back only applies to un-shipped vials purchased within 36 months from donors currently listed on our website.

8.    What type of specimen should I order?

We suggest talking to your health care provider to see if he/she recommends a certain vial type for your treatment.

Our sperm samples are available in multiple formats to accommodate different needs. Donor sperm specimens are prepared frozen in IUI (intrauterine) washed, and ICI (intracervical) un-washed preparations. IVF (in vitro fertilization) vials are also available for many NW Cryobank sperm donors.

IUI or ICI vials can be used for home insemination (vaginal or intracervical insemination).

Please visit our vial types page to learn more about each vial type.

9. Are there security features in place to provide peace-of-mind when purchasing products on the NW Cryobank website?

Yes, please review our Privacy Policy for more details.

At-Home Insemination

10. How long can the specimens remain frozen in the shipping tank?

All of our tanks have been validated (at room temperature in an upright position) to maintain the temperature of the specimens below -150°C for 7 days.

11. Can I order vials if I am not ready to use them for an at-home insemination right away?

Yes, we offer storage plans so you can purchase vials of your favorite donor(s) and not worry about your donor selling out of vials before your insemination. Please refer to our storage fees.

12. What is included in the shipment?

We include one needleless syringe for each vial shipped, along with specimen thaw instructions, and general guidelines for the insemination process. Please consult with a physician or women’s healthcare professional on all matters related to inseminations.

13. Can I keep vials in my freezer if I am not ready for my home insemination?

No, donor specimens must be kept in special cryogenic storage tanks. If circumstances change and you need to return the vials, please refer to our returns page.

14. What supplies do I need for an at-home insemination?

You will need eye protection (examples: goggles or eyeglasses) and gloves (examples: gardening, working, or dish washing gloves) to protect you from both bio hazard and the extremely cold temperature created by liquid nitrogen vapor within the tank.

15. Do you provide ovulation predictor kits?

We do not provide ovulation predictor kits however, they are commercially available to purchase.

16. When do I inseminate?

Insemination should be properly timed with your ovulation cycle. Please contact your medical professional with any specific questions regarding the insemination process.

17. How do I know when I am ovulating?

Commercially available home ovulation monitors and ovulation predictor tests are great tools to determine your optimal fertility window. Please consult with a physician or women’s healthcare professional with further questions related to ovulation.

18. My cycle is irregular, how can I predict when I’ll need the specimen?

Using either a home ovulation monitor or ovulation predictor test will help you determine the best time for insemination. We suggest having your vials arrive 48 hours before you think you will need them in case of any shipping delays. The vials can be stored in the tank for up to 7 days.

19. What type of vials are best for at-home insemination?

Both ICI and IUI vials are suitable for at-home vaginal insemination with no further preparation needed. You may note that there are different volumes and the number of cells associated with each vial type. This is related to the type of processing that produced the vial. Please see our Specimen Quality Standards for additional information.

Shipping Vials 

20.    Can I ship vials of donor sperm to my home?

Yes, we can ship vials to your home. You do not need your medical provider to sign a form for home shipments unless you live in New York.

Please make sure your delivery address is correct! If your delivery address is incomplete, incorrect, or outside the continental U.S. (Alaska and Hawaii), there may be additional fees or take longer for your package to arrive. If your delivery address is remote or in an outlying area, you may be required to pick up the package at the carrier’s nearest facility.

21. Does NW Cryobank offer international shipping?

Yes, please call our office at 1-800-786-5251 for a shipping quote.

A refundable dewar (tank) deposit may be required prior to shipment if shipping to an international location.

22. Can I pick up my vials at your office instead of having the vials shipped?

No, we do not offer vial pick-ups.

23. How do I choose a ship date for my vial(s)?

When selecting a shipping date, most clients aim to have their vials arrive 2-3 days prior to ovulation. If you have a questions regarding this, we recommend that you follow up with your medical provider.

24. Can I choose the shipping date when I place my order?

Yes, you can select the shipping date and method with each order. When you choose your shipping options, the expected arrival date will be displayed.

25. What is a dewar? (Pronounced Doo-er)

A dewar is the shipping tank that we use to transport frozen specimens. Our dewars are charged with nitrogen coolant to hold specimens frozen. It is important to keep the dewar upright and closed until you’re ready to use the vials. The dewars are shipped in a cardboard box that is 12″ by 12″ by 24″ and weigh approximately 25 lbs.

26. How long can I keep my dewar?

The dewar is validated to keep the vials frozen for 7 days from the date of shipment. The shipping fee you pay includes limited rental of our dewar. Once you receive the shipment, you have 7 days to ship back the empty dewar or you will be charged a daily fee.  View Dewar Rental Fees >>

The return shipping of the dewar is included in the shipping fee for all shipments within the United States. An airbill for shipping the empty dewar back to our facility will be included in your shipment. If you do not return the shipping dewar to NW Cryobank, a dewar replacement fee will be charged to your credit card on file.

27. Can I keep vials in my freezer if I am not ready for my home insemination?

No, donor specimens must be kept in special cryogenic storage tanks. If circumstances change and you need to return vials, please refer to our Returns page.

28. Am I able to track my order?

Yes, tracking information is provided with each order. The tracking information is also accessible through your online account.

29. Does my order have to be signed for when it is delivered?

A signature is required by the carrier to receive your shipment. If you will not be not available to sign for receipt of your shipment at your home address, you may arrange to have your package shipped to the nearest “carrier hold facility” by providing the shipping address at the time you place your order. The carrier cannot provide you with a specific time for delivery.

Pricing, Policies & Pregnancy FAQs

30. Do you limit the number of families per donor (donor offspring limitations)?

We target a maximum of 25-30 family units worldwide per sperm donor.
In order to help us monitor the number of births associated with any donor, it is important that everyone be diligent in reporting their pregnancies.

31. When should I report my pregnancy?

You should complete a pregnancy report once you have a clinical pregnancy. It’s important to report your pregnancy so we can maintain our donor offspring limits. We also love to hear the good news!

32. Does NW Cryobank offer financing?

Yes through CapexMD and LendingClub. View our financing page for more information.

33. Do you offer any specials or discounts?

From time to time, we offer specials on products and services. Check our website or follow us on social media to see our latest promotions.

34. Do you offer special pricing for products ordered in bulk?

Yes, please call us to find out more at 1-800-786-5251.

35. Is your office closed for any holidays?

Yes, our office is closed for the following holidays. You will not be able schedule shipments on these holidays.

  • New Years Day  (if it lands on Saturday, we are closed on Friday, if it lands on Sunday, we are closed on Monday)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (if it lands on Saturday, we are closed on Friday, if it lands on Sunday, we are closed on Monday)
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day (if it lands on Saturday, we are closed on Friday, if it lands on Sunday, we are closed on Monday)

36. What do I need for a second parent adoption?

Requirements for second parent adoptions vary based on local jurisdictions. Most courts will require a copy of your sales receipt from NW Cryobank for the purchase and shipment of the donor vials used for the insemination that resulted in your pregnancy. They may also ask for a copy of the release of liability that our donors must sign relinquishing any parental rights to the child. To request a copy of this, please contact us. Some courts may also require a letter from NW Cryobank. If this is the case, you or your attorney may email us the required documentation for us to review and sign.

37. How are your donor vials priced?

We price our vials by donor anonymity type. Our donor types are Open, Anonymous, and ID Disclosure. Please visit our Sperm Donor Types page and our Donor Sperm Fees page for more details.

38. How are requests for contact handled?

Once the donor conceived offspring is at least 18 years of age (s)he may send NW Cryobank a written request for contact with his/her donor. We will ask the adult offspring to complete our “Offspring/Donor Contact Form” and answer certain questions in order to verify the identity of the offspring, client and donor number. After NW Cryobank completes verification of the offspring’s information, we will contact the donor.

39. My donor is listed as anonymous, can my offspring still request contact?

Yes, even if a donor has been listed as anonymous, we have found that some donors decide that they will agree to some limited contact. Therefore, NW Cryobank has an openness policy and will attempt to facilitate contact with donors who had been listed as anonymous. Ultimately, the type and/or frequency of the communication is up to the donor as agreed upon by all parties. Even if the donor is not open to contact, NW Cryobank will share the medical records as available.