We talked to Sanjay Kumar, the CEO of Cryobank America, to get answers to some common questions about frozen sperm. Cryobank America’s main mission is to help create happy, healthy families by providing top-quality reproductive products to individuals and couples. They follow strict guidelines for donor screening set by the FDA.
Q: What does a sperm donor have to do to become one at Cryobank America?
A: There’s a 5-step process. First, they fill out an application. Then, their semen is checked to make sure it meets the requirements. Next, their family’s medical history is reviewed. After that, they have a thorough check-up with a doctor. Finally, the doctor decides if they’re a good fit.
Q: How do you choose sperm samples for freezing?
A: The lab follows strict regulations and is inspected regularly. They have specific standards for the samples they freeze.
Q: How many times can a sperm donor donate?
A: Most donate up to 3 times a week for about a year. On average, donors visit around 5–6 times per month.
Q: What’s something important about sperm donation that you want people to know?
A: It’s not easy to find donors. They receive many applications but only a few are accepted. Donors are considered like employees, so they need to reflect the company well.
Q: How many vials do most people buy?
A: It’s recommended to buy 2 vials per cycle. If you like a specific donor, it’s best to buy as many as you’re comfortable with, as they might run out.
Q: Have you seen more demand for home insemination vials?
A: Yes, especially during the pandemic. With clinics closed, more people turned to home inseminations, often with doctor’s approval.
Q: What percentage of people using frozen sperm are Heterosexual vs. LGBTQ+?
A: About 80% are LGBTQ+ and 20% are Heterosexual.
Q: How do you freeze sperm?
A: Sperm needs to be frozen at a sperm bank. The lab processes and freezes it.
Q: How does sperm survive the thawing process?
A: The lab treats the specimen with a special mixture that protects the cells from sudden temperature changes.
Q: How cold does the sperm get in the tank?
A: It’s preserved at an incredibly cold temperature of -196 Celsius or -321 Fahrenheit.
Q: What happens if you leave the sperm out too long after thawing?
A: It’s best to use it quickly after thawing. If left out, it can survive for up to 2 days if unopened. Once exposed to air, this time decreases.
Q: When should you order your sperm?
A: It’s advised to order early and secure your vials as you track your cycles. Donor sperm isn’t in unlimited supply and can sell out.
Q: What advice do you have for people considering using frozen donor sperm at home?
A: Timing is crucial. Track ovulation with test strips and visit your OB often. They can identify any issues before you start.
Q: How many babies are born each year from frozen sperm?
A: Worldwide, it’s estimated to be between 30,000–60,000 births using donor sperm.
Q: How much does it cost to freeze sperm from your partner or a “known donor”?
A: Costs vary depending on the situation, but it starts at around $220 for personal storage and $1400 for a known donor.
Q: What else should people know about sperm banks?
A: Sperm banks are very careful about who they accept. They have strict criteria and filters to ensure donors meet requirements.
Q: What’s the best way to use frozen sperm with the Mosie Kit?
A: Use 2 vials per insemination, following the instructions provided. Make sure to inseminate during your fertile window.
Q: What is the success rate with frozen sperm?
A: When tracked properly, the success rate is roughly around 25%-45%.