Frequently Asked Questions

How long can sperm stay frozen/cryopreserved for and still remain viable?

A major consideration is whether the sperm were compromised prior to cryopreservation (“freezing”). For example, the older the male the higher the rate of DNA mutation. Also, if the patient had an illness ranging from the common cold to a terminal illness, sperm quality can decrease. Sitting in hot tubs, smoking cigarettes or marijuana, and prolonged inactivity (sitting) are all known to decrease sperm quality. With that being said, studies indicate that frozen sperm can successfully be used to create a child 20-30 years after it was frozen [1].

How long can embryos or eggs remain frozen and still be viable?

It is best to check with the manufacturing facility (the IVF center that performed the cryopreservation), as only they know the specificities of the cryoprotectant used and are the experts in terms of the embryo or egg quality.

What infectious disease tests are required to store my cryopreserved/frozen tissues at Family Fertility CryoBank?

Please see the Required Testing page for a full list of the required infectious disease tests.

How much reproductive tissue (eggs/embryos/sperm) do I need to have in storage for future children?

Sperm: Fertility Center of California estimates that if artificial insemination will be the treatment method for conception, there should be at least 3-6 ICI or IUI vials PER pregnancy attempt. This means that if you would like to have 3 children someday, you should try to have at least 18 quality ICI or IUI vials stored for future use. Please note that a vial is not the same as the number of days that a collection was performed. Depending on sperm concentration, some males may be able to freeze 1-2 quality vials per collection, whereas other males may be able to freeze more per collection day. It is different for each male. If IVF is the method of treatment for conception, generally fewer vials are needed as less sperm is needed for IVF-ICSI treatment, but it is also based on what the embryologists would prefer, so please check with your IVF facility for their recommendation.

Eggs/Embryos: It is hard to comment on the number of eggs or embryos needed for conceiving a child because it is dependent on the quality of the eggs or embryos. This would be a good thing to discuss with the embryologists at the IVF facility.

I’m starting cancer treatment or deploying soon, can I still freeze my sperm?

Yes! If you are not located near a fertility center with the capability of cryopreserving sperm, you can have a sperm collection kit mailed to you. Basic information can be found here, for more information please call the office and speak with the lab director about what is included with the @Home Sperm Freezing kit at 619-265-0102.

How do I transfer materials between clinics?

Domestic shipping, sperm: Once the paperwork has been completed with either a Family Fertility CryoBank/Fertility Center of California witness OR a notary, you will need to email ([email protected]) or fax (619-265-1429) the paperwork to our office and call to schedule the shipment. Shipping fees vary based on location but you can expect to pay between $200-$500+ for the shipment based on your location within the United States.

Domestic shipping for eggs & embryos, AND all international shipments: Once the paperwork has been completed with either a Family Fertility CryoBank/Fertility Center of California witness OR a notary, you will need to email ([email protected]) or fax (619-265-1429) the paperwork to our office. Due to the sensitive time frame of shipping eggs, embryos, or any international shipment, we do not perform these types of shipments in-house. You will need to set up the shipment with a third party shipping company that has the capability of performing shipments for sensitive materials (eggs/embryos) or for international shipments of all materials (eggs/embryos/sperm). CryoStork, Kynisi, EmbryoPort, and IVF Couriers are some companies capable of shipping eggs, embryos, and internationally.

What if I do not want my reproductive tissue (eggs/sperm/embryos) anymore?

You may sign disposition paperwork to relinquish your ownership of the reproductive tissue. This paperwork MUST be notarized. If you live abroad and do not have access to a notary you may contact [email protected] about scheduling alternative methods of confirmation. The disposition paperwork also directs Family Fertility CryoBank to what you would like to be done with the reproductive tissue. You may either opt for the destruction of the materials, donation to research or donation to another person(s) to use. For information on donating please see below.

What happens if I decide to donate my reproductive tissue?

If you choose to donate your reproductive tissue to research, we may send the materials back to the original IVF facility or find a suitable company that could use them. Any research performed on these materials is purely for learning purposes only. If a suitable company is not found for the reproductive tissue after one year, the reproductive tissue will be destroyed in an ethical and HIPAA compliant fashion.

If you choose to donate your reproductive tissue to another person, please first know that if the FDA CFR Title 21 Directed donor infectious disease testing was not performed on the reproductive tissue at the time of creation, then the material cannot be used by anyone aside from yourself. If this testing was not performed, the materials will be donated for research or destroyed instead.

Can I dictate exactly who/where/or for what purpose I want my reproductive tissue to be donated?

We will try to make every effort to satisfy your directives, but unless you specifically tell us a person (please see below for further explanation) or a place to transfer the materials to, we cannot guarantee such directives. In certain situations, additional fees may apply (e.g. shipping, transfer of ownership paperwork).

Can I transfer ownership of my reproductive tissue to someone else?

In some instances, yes. If you currently own anonymous donor sperm or eggs, you can transfer ownership of the materials to a specific person. Both parties (current owner and new owner) will need to complete paperwork that is either notarized or signed in front of a Family Fertility CryoBank/Fertility Center of California employee. Please note that there is a fee for time spent on coordinating this transfer.

If you would like to transfer ownership to another person but you did not complete the FDA CFR Title 21 Directed donor testing at the time of creating the materials, then these materials cannot be used by anyone other than yourself.

It is important to note that most IVF facilities require a legal agreement to be constructed by a lawyer to transfer ownership of reproductive tissues.

Do you perform IVF at Family Fertility CryoBank/Fertility Center of California?

No, our facilities specialize in artificial insemination, sperm cryopreservation, sperm washing, and anonymous/known donor sperm. The sister company, Male Fertility Specialists specializes in male infertility, sexual dysfunction, vasectomy, vasectomy reversals, urology, as well as methods of sperm retrieval to be used with IVF.


1. Szell, Andras Z. et al. “Live Births from Frozen Human Semen Stored for 40 Years.” Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 30.6 (2013): 743–744. PMC. Web. 9 Oct. 2018.