can I become a donor?
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Please refer to Anonymous Donor Program.
can I receive information about donor sperm (donor list)?
You can receive all information regarding donor sperm,
including a donor list at www.cryobio.com
is a client depositor?
A client depositor is an individual storing his
sperm samples for his own use in the future. A client depositor may be
a male who has had his sperm processed, frozen, and stored at Pittsburgh
Cryobank, Inc. or who has had his sperm processed and frozen at another
facility and subsequently transferred to Pittsburgh Cryobank, Inc. for
I want to store my own sperm for use
in the future. What are the costs involved?
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In order to store your sperm for your personal use
in the future, you must obtain a physician's referral and schedule an
appointment. Please refer to Sperm Banking
for a detailed explanation. Patients who store sperm for their exclusive
use in the future are referred to as client depositors.
The Sperm Cryopreservation
fee (see Fees) is applicable for each
sample collected. This fee includes one year of storage. There is also
a one-time fee for Viral Disease Testing, which must be performed during
the first appointment.
Storage fees for subsequent
years of storage are based on the total number of vials stored. See Fees
for details.Note that prices are subject to change without
have a billing question. Who do I call?
If you have a question regarding why you were billed,
contact Pittsburgh Cryobank, Inc. at the number on Contact
Us. If you have a question regarding an invoice, please contact our
business office at (614) 451-4375.
I purchased donor sperm from another facility, established
a pregnancy, and my doctor's office cannot store the remaining vial(s).
Do you provide storage in this scenario?
Yes, Pittsburgh Cryobank provides storage for donor
specimens from other sperm banks. An Annual Storage Fee, based on the
number of vials in storage, applies (refer to Fees
When are appointments scheduled?
Appointments for andrology and sperm banking services
are scheduled M-F 8:00am-2:00pm. Appointments for potential anonymous
donors are scheduled M-R 8:00am-2:00pm. Please call (412) 687-0335 M-F
7:30am-4:00pm to schedule an appointment.
Why do I need a physician's referral
State law requires that all lab results be released
to the referring physician and not to the patient. As a lab, we only release
results, we do not interpret them. Your physician must review the numerical
values relevant to each parameter of a particular test ordered and then
determine whether or not your values fall within normal range for your
particular situation. He/She can then prescribe treatment or further evaluation
based on the results.
Why do I have to pay during
the time of my appointment? Can't I use my insurance card?
Most infertility-based procedures are not covered by insurance. We have
chosen not to contract with any insurance companies due to the low reimbursement
rate. You must pay at the time of service; however, we will provide you
with a receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for any applicable
is 2-5 days of abstinence recommended?
It typically takes your body 2 days after an ejaculation
to replenish your sperm count to a "normal" value. However,
the life span of a mature sperm cell within the body is about 5 days.
After this time, the oldest cells begin to die, but more cells are continually
produced. Periods of abstinence longer than 5 days will result in a higher
number of TOTAL cells present, but the number of MOTILE cells will remain
essentially the same. Your sperm motility may therefore be diminished
due to more nonmotile sperm cells percent. We recommend 2-5 days abstinence
in order to provide your physician with results that are most accurate
for you. Your physician may request 2 semen analyses within a specified
timeframe in order to more adequately ensure the results are a reflection
of your "normal" values.
are the collection procedures?
*Please note that anonymous and directed donors
must collect their samples at Pittsburgh Cryobank, Inc.
We have private collection
rooms with a chair, sink, and magazines provided. Client depositors can
choose to collect at home, but the sample must be delivered to our laboratory
within 30 minutes of collection (sterile collection containers my be obtained
at Pittsburgh Cryobank, Inc. or from your physician's office).
The sample should be collected
by masturbation without the use of lubricants and into a sterile container.
Most lubricants are toxic to sperm cells and will therefore affect the
quality of the sample. Lubricants can also cause contamination of the
sample and should especially be avoided for samples intended for insemination.
Repeat collections may be required for sperm cryopreservation or other
andrology testing if lubricants are used or suspected. If the sample is
collected by any method other than masturbation, the first part of the
sample, which generally contains the most sperm cells may be missed, resulting
in a low sperm count.
It is also important that
a complete sample be collected. A sample is considered complete if it
is collected from the start to the finish of the ejaculation, regardless
of the volume. Incomplete samples should be reported to the lab for the
same reason as above.
long can my sperm remain frozen in liquid nitrogen?
To the best of our knowledge, sperm can be stored
in liquid nitrogen indefinitely. All cellular processes cease at liquid
nitrogen temperatures. There is no cellular metabolism, no uptake of energy
sources, and no excretion of waste products; the cells remain in a state
of "suspended animation" until thawed. Without an "aging"
process, the thawed cells are similar to those frozen. There will be some
cells which do not survive the freezing and thawing process, however,
those that survive are often the hardiest and most viable. There have
been pregnancies reported using sperm that had been frozen and stored
for up to 15 years.
can my frozen sperm be used in the future?
Because sperm counts vary from male to male and
from sample to sample, there are different processing methods used prior
to cryopreservation, which result in different
types of vials
frozen based upon results of each semen analysis. Basically, our goal
is to provide patients with as many high quality vials as possible from
each sample collected.
There are generally 3 types
of vials that can be frozen, and multiple types of vials can be frozen
from one collection. The first type of vial is for artificial insemination.
This is termed an IUI (IntraUterine Insemination ) or ICI (IntraCervical
Insemination) type of vial. A physician will monitor the menstrual cycle
of your partner, and, when the potential for fertilization is optimal,
the physician will inseminate your sperm into your partner. This is the
least expensive procedure of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). The
second type of vial is used for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedures,
and the third type of vials is used for IVF with IntraCytoplasmic Sperm
Injection (ICSI). In either procedure, your partner undergoes a hormonal
regimen whereby she is stimulated to produce multiple eggs during a single
cycle. Just prior to ovulation, a physician will retrieve the eggs from
your partner, either surgically or during an office visit. For IVF, the
retrieved eggs are then combined with your sperm in a petri dish within
the laboratory. For ICSI, one sperm is injected with a very fine needle
into each mature egg retrieved. After 3-5 days, the resultant embryos
are transferred back into your partner's uterus. IVF and ICSI are more
involved, more invasive procedures and are, therefore, more costly, but
they require fewer total sperm cells than for insemination. For ICSI,
the number of sperm required is equal to the number of eggs retrieved.
Your physician will determine what type of procedure should be attempted,
depending on the number of vials you have in storage and the total number
of sperm cells available.
address my frozen sperm in my will?
As a client depositor, frozen sperm is considered
the producing male's property. For use, shipment, transfer, or thawing
of any vials, we require the client depositor's written, notarized permission.
You are required to address disposition of your sperm upon your death
as part of the storage contract we provide. We will follow the information
on the disposition form in the event of your death. You can change this
information at any time. Addressing use of your frozen sperm in a will
is suggested in addition to the information you have provided us. If you
choose to address it, please be sure that the information we have
on file corresponds to anything you have stated in a will. You may
choose to consult an attorney.
does a semen analysis provide?
A semen analysis will include a measurement of the
volume, analysis of the viscosity, and percentage of non-liquefaction
of the semen sample. It also includes the density, forward progression,
and activity of the sperm cells. The number of round cells present and
any cell to cell agglutination is also noted. We cannot tell you whether
your sample is within normal ranges or release results to you. We only
report results to the referring physician who will interpret our findings.
sperm banking, what other tests do you perform?
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We perform a variety of infertility/andrology testing
which includes semen analysis, sperm viability, and sperm morphology to
name a few. For a more comprehensive list of testing services, please
see Andrology Services.