Directed donor banking means that the banked semen specimens can be used on any individual of choice in the future. This could be a non-sexually intimate person such as a surrogate, gestational carrier or friend. They could be used on sexually intimate partner as well. Banking for directed donor use requires the patient to have a more extensive screening process than what is required for use on a sexually intimate partner.

 They must have a physical at their personal physician’s office.  The physical form that we provide must be completed within 7 days prior to the initial banking appointment and signed by the directed donor’s physician Directed donors must also complete the medical history profile packet we will provide and bring it along with the completed physical form to their first banking appointment this must also be completed within 7 days of the initial appointment.

On the day the initial specimen is banked, patients are required to have the FDA required panel of sexually transmitted disease testing (STD) completed. The specimens are then quarantined for a minimum of 6 months from the date the final specimen is banked. The patient would then be required to return to our lab to have the FDA required STD panel of tests repeated. Once all test results are completed the specimens could then be released for use on any female recipient in the future as long as they comply with the FDA Guidelines.

Patients that bank their sperm as a directed or known donor are tested for the following sexually transmitted diseases at the time of their first banking appointment.

HIV 1&2 Antibody, HIV NAT, HCV NAT, HBV NAT, HTLV 1&2, Hepatitis BsAG, Hepatitis B core, 

Hepatitis C Antibody, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, 

CMV, Blood type, West Nile Virus for banking between months 5/31-10/31

We also recommend consulting with the physician that will be utilizing the specimens to find out if there is any additional testing that they may require and if they prefer the specimens to be washed and prepared for an intrauterine insemination prior to the freezing procedure. 

Directed donor specimens are not represented or screened the same as an anonymous donor specimen.  More stringent standards are required for anonymous sperm donors including a Karyotype for Chromosome analysis, Cystic Fibrosis, more extensive blood work, cultures, fertility testing, interviews and additional genetic testing.

International Cryogenics, Inc., under no circumstances will accept responsibility for any illness transmitted to the recipient, and or child or any abnormal birth defect incurred from the use of the directed donor specimens. All legal aspects of paternity, financial obligations, etc. are the responsibility of the directed donor and the recipient. 

Male to female hormone therapy/gender reassignment surgery

Sperm banking is a great option for Transgender patients that are planning to undergo male to female hormone therapy/gender reassignment surgery. Banking sperm prior to treatment allows patients the possibility of having their own biologically related children by preserving their fertility prior to treatment. Sperm banking should be completed prior to starting hormone therapy as these medications can have a detrimental effect on sperm production. There are two different ways of banking sperm prior to initiating therapy/surgery. One is long term Directed Donor Banking and the other is Sexually Intimate Partner (SIP) banking.

Directed donor banking(recommended): Directed donor banking means that the banked semen specimens can be used on any individual of choice in the future. This could be a non-sexually intimate person such as a surrogate, gestational carrier or friend. They could be used on sexually intimate partner as well. Many transgender patients may not know at the time of their transition who they will need to use their banked semen specimens on in the future. Banking the sperm as a directed donor opens up many avenues for use in the future and does not require them to make that decision at the time of banking/transition.

Sexually intimate partner banking (SIP): Sexually intimate partner banking means that the banked sperm could only be used on the patient’s sexually intimate partner in the future. Patients that banked for SIP use are not required to have a physical/medical history completed, sexually transmitted disease test panel is an abbreviated version of the Directed donor panel and the specimens are not required to be quarantined for 6 months. Unfortunately, if the patient’s spouse /intimate partner has fertility issues and cannot conceive or if the banking patient changes their mind about using their specimens on a sexually intimate partner in the future they would not have the option of using them on a surrogate or anyone other than their sexually intimate partner.

For additional information or to set up an appointment please call our office at 248-397-8449. We can provide the required physical and medical history forms that need to be completed for directed donor banking and give instructions that need to be followed in the days prior to your appointment so that the highest quality specimens possible can be obtained.

Procedure for banking sperm as a directed donor

All patients are seen at International Cryogenics, Inc. on an appointment basis only. Usually 1or 2 days is all that is required to get an appointment. Initial banking appointments usually take approximately one to one and a half hours. This appointment includes a consultation to review necessary paperwork and contracts. We have the patient collect a urine specimen for the required Chlamydia & Gonorrhea testing. Next the patient collects his semen specimen. To ensure the highest quality semen specimen and for directed donations the specimen must be collected at our facility. We have private donor rooms that are located in the back of our office. The rooms have a private living room style atmosphere. There are magazines to aid in the collection and a Wi-Fi password is also provided.  The specimen is collected by masturbation into a sterile specimen container.

Patients then get their blood drawn for the sexually transmitted disease testing that is required by the FDA.

A semen analysis is done on each specimen that is collected to determine the quality of the specimen. A cryo-preservative is added and the specimen is divided into small vials that are labeled with a number of identification features. The specimens are frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen (-325 F) for maximum integrity. A few drops of the specimen are frozen in a separate vial. This vial is used for the post thaw semen analysis to determine how the specimen survived the freezing process. On average 10% of the sperm will die during the freezing process. Specimens that have a lower quality before freezing may lose a higher percentage. Patients can call the next business day to get results on their specimen.

Specimens that are stored at a very consistent temperature, submersed in liquid nitrogen can be stored indefinitely. Storage tanks are filled with liquid nitrogen on a daily basis to insure the liquid level is above the level of the specimens at all times. The storage tanks do not run on electricity so a power outage does not affect the storage tanks in any way. We have liquid level alarms on all of our storage tanks that are monitored on a 24-hour basis.

Specimens can be shipped to licensed physicians within in the United States after all required testing and paperwork has been completed. Moving out of state does not necessitate that your frozen specimens be moved with you. Specimens can remain in storage. When you are ready to use the specimens we will ship them to a physician of your choosing. Specimens are shipped in a liquid nitrogen shipping canister. The canister keeps the specimens frozen for seven days. We ship the number of vials the physician plans to use that ovulatory cycle. If the patient's physician has a liquid nitrogen storage tank in their office we can ship as many specimens as requested. However, we don't recommend shipping all of the specimens in one shipment in the event that something would happen during the transportation.

We highly recommend that the recipient seek a fertility specialist when utilizing frozen semen specimens. Directed donors bank a limited number of specimens; it is very important that the recipient go to a physician that can accurately determine ovulation, fertility status, etc. Handling and thawing the specimens properly is very important to insure the highest quality specimen possible. Evaluating the quality of the frozen specimen and the fertility status of the female recipient to determine the best reproductive method needed leads to the greatest chance of success.

The directed donor who has banked their sperm in our facility is the only one who can legally withdrawal the specimens. If they banked their specimens for a known recipient, they will sign documents giving this recipient the right to ship and utilize the specimens after all testing and documentation is complete.  The signature on the release form must be notarized. The directed donor is entitled to change their mind and no longer wish for their specimens to be utilized. We will honor the directed donor’s wishes regardless of who was financially responsible for paying for the banking, lab fees and storage fees. 

 We require 2 weeks’ notice for the first withdrawal of your specimens as there is paperwork that will need to be signed by both the recipient and the physician that will utilize the specimens.  In the event of a directed donor's demise, ICI will be unable to release his specimens, unless they are willed to a named recipient. If the directed donor does not have a will, a signed notarized document stating their wishes to release their frozen semen specimens to a named recipient in the event of their demise will be accepted if all required testing and quarantine of the samples has been completed

Note: If any of the required blood tests or cultures have a positive result ICI may not be able to continue banking and the directed donor may be deemed ineligible to be a directed donor.