Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
Selecting a donor is an important first step on your journey toward starting a family, and you probably have questions about the process. Here are answers to many of the frequent questions we are asked.
Why Choose Seattle Sperm Bank?
- Superior Customer Service – We offer a personalized customer service experience including free Photo-Matching, assistance with sperm donor selection, consultations and genetic consultations. We know our donors! Every customer will speak to someone who interacts with the donor regularly.
- Advanced Genetic Testing – We are the first sperm bank to test all new donors (as of September 2015) with an Extended Genetic Panel Carrier Screen..
- Competitive Pricing – We can save patients up to 40% per shipment. Our per-vial cost, shipping and extended donor information are all more affordable.
- Donor Counseling – All sperm donors are evaluated by a counselor with a Master’s of Social Work. This interview helps donors understand the full implications of being a donor, including the possibility of future contact from offspring. It gives us the assurance the donors in the our program are safe and sound individuals.
- Vial Quality – The SSB lab staff prides themselves on creating the best quality vials. We receive quality complaint forms on less than 0.1% of vials distributed.
Accreditation and Licensing
Seattle Sperm Bank is accredited and/or licensed by the following organizations/agencies:
- New York State
- State of Maryland
- State of California
Our Donor Catalog
How do I select a sperm donor?
Selecting a donor is an important first step on your journey toward starting a family. During your donor selection process, we recommend that you sign up for our All Access Pass membership on our website. This membership provides unlimited access to detailed donor profiles, baby photos, audio interviews, testing information, and staff impressions.
You can use our Donor Search Tool to help you find a donor that best matches your criteria by inputting some of your desired characteristics (eye color, height, ethnicity, etc) and selecting profiles from the filtered results.
We also offer FREE photo matching to help you narrow down your search if you are wanting the donor to resemble a specific person, such as yourself, a partner, a spouse, a family member, etc. For more information on our photo matching service, please visit this link: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/free-photo-matching/
What is an Open ID Donor?
At Seattle Sperm Bank, open identity donors have committed to at least one contact with the child, when the child reaches the age of 18. The contact must be initiated by the child; customer identities are confidential and are never released to sperm donors. There is no requirement that the donor commit to any sort of long-lasting relationship with the child, although the donor and the child may arrange to have further communication. All donors are required to go through a maturity evaluation by the sperm bank’s managing director and donor coordinator to ensure they understand the consequences of their decision to become an open identity donor.
Although prospective parents don’t get to meet a sperm donor before choosing to use his donated sperm, there is a lot to learn about donors through profile information. Often donors will list their reasons for donating along with detailed information about themselves. At Seattle Sperm Bank, we have found that open identity donors are usually willing to provide more detailed information such as baby photos and extended profile information to the sperm bank.
What types of units do you offer and which type do I need?
We have four different unit types here at Seattle Sperm Bank:
- IUI (intra-uterine insemination) or “washed”
- ICI (intra-cervical insemination) or “unwashed”
- IUI ART (intra-uterine insemination assisted reproductive technologies)
- ICI ART (intra-cervical insemination assisted reproductive technologies)
IUI are usually used for an insemination directly into the uterus with a physician.
ICI are typically used at home or if the doctor’s office wants to wash the sample first.
ART units are often used for IVF as they have fewer sperm cells than the regular units.
Your doctor can advise you as to which type you will need for your given procedure.
Please refer to this link for more information. https://www.seattlespermbank.com/demystifying-iui-ici-ivi-and-ivf/
What information do you have available about each donor?
Our $50 All Access Pass includes full access to all donors’ profile materials. This includes the donor’s Extended Profile, Childhood Photo, Audio Interview, Keirsey Personality Test, Staff Impression, and Genetic Test Results.
Please use the following link to see an example of what is available for each donor: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/all-access-pass/
How do I search by genetic test?
Seattle Sperm Bank offers a way to easily search our donor database by genetic test. This tool lets you see all the donors who have tested negative for any singular, or combination of, different genetic diseases.
Example of how it works:
If you are a known carrier for Pendred Syndrome, for example, you can select that condition from the list using the “Find Match” button at the top of the donor search tool. The resulting matches would then only show donors who were tested and found to be negative for Pendred Syndrome. Plus, this tool can be used with our other donor search criteria to help you find the best matches for you.
The donor I like is out of vials. What are my options?
If your selected donor(s) has no available inventory of the unit type (IUI, ICI, ART) that you are looking for, please call us at 206-588-1484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about inventory status.
We can also put you on the waitlist for your donor by reserving a maximum of five units that are in quarantine. You can only be on the waitlist for one donor at a time. You cannot reserve units that are available for purchase. When the units are released from quarantine, you will be notified via email and be able to purchase them before the units are made available to the general public. Please call or email to be placed on the waitlist.
What if I want to use my same donor for future siblings?
We strongly encourage our clients to purchase additional units of their favorite donor and place them into storage. We cannot guarantee that your donor will be available in the future when you are ready to inseminate.
For more information, please review our Family Planning page: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/familyplanning/
Does Seattle Sperm Bank place birth limits on its donors?
Yes, we have a 25 family limit nationwide for our donors. This is monitored by our Pregnancy and Birth Reporting, which is a requirement for all purchasers.
Pregnancy and Birth reports can be submitted to us at this link:
Why don’t you offer adult photos of your donors?
While we strongly focus on and support the Open ID donor option, it is very much in the best interest of the donor to protect their identity until a child is of legal age to contact the donor. With today’s technology, such as “Search By Image” it is easy to find a donor’s identity by searching the Internet using the adult photo and to obtain personal information, including contact information for the donor.
Unfortunately, both parents, prospective parents, and even people who are not using a donor have been found to track down donors and contact them outside of the Open ID contract. Contacting a donor violates the agreement of any customer, and it is not what a donor signed up for. Consequently, such events will further discourage young, healthy men who are willing to be donors, to contribute to the process of helping others create a family.
Rather than sharing adult photos, Seattle Sperm Bank offers free photo matching as a service. We encourage customers to send one or more pictures of the person they would like to match to, including a few main criteria of other preferences about their desired donor – and our staff who regularly meet with the donors will select the best matches. This service will much more accurately allow patients to match the current look and character of a donor, than offering adult photos, celebrity look-alike, or silhouettes of donors.
Donor Quality Standards
How is your Vial Quality?
At Seattle Sperm Bank, vial quality is one of our top priorities. We stand behind our products with pride and confidence. If you ever have a problem or question concerning your vial quality, please contact us so we can work with you and your clinic to resolve the issue. Our product promise: every properly thawed IUI vial contains at least 10 million motile cells in a 0.5 ml volume, and every ICI vial contains at least 15 million motile cells in a 1.0 ml volume.
We perform a post-thaw count on one vial from every lot to confirm the sperm survive the freezing process and still meet our high standards. Our fully trained Biological Analysts perform a post-thaw count on one vial from every lot to confirm that the number of motile sperm in our vials meets our minimum quality standard of 10 million motile sperm per IUI vial and 15 million motile sperm per ICI vial.
Due to the nature of counting a motile biological specimen and the wide variety of sperm counting systems on the market, actual vial counts obtained by an outside laboratory can predictably vary up to 25% from our target counts. As such, IUI vials counted by your clinic with at least 7.5 million motile sperm per vial and ICI vials counted at 11.25 million motile sperm per vial are considered within an acceptable range of our target motile sperm count. A variation in count does not mean that the specimen is of poor quality or that a pregnancy won’t result if used for insemination.
If you have concerns about vial quality and your vial was counted at more than 25% below our minimum quality standard, please have your clinic fill out this Form and return it to SSB. Please note that any additional shipping and/or handling of the specimens that was not authorized by Seattle Sperm Bank will void SSB’s quality guarantee.
What are Seattle Sperm Bank's requirements for becoming a donor?
Seattle Sperm Bank has rigorous requirements for becoming a sperm donor. We screen applicants based on a large number of factors, including health, genetics, education, family history, looks, personality, and overall sperm quality.
What type of health screening does Seattle Sperm Bank perform on Donors?
Seattle Sperm Bank tests and screens donors more than any other sperm bank. We pioneered the Genetic Carrier Screening, and have continuously expanded our screening panels on various levels.
For a detailed breakdown of our screening process, please refer to this link: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/donor-testing-and-screening/
What if a donor is a carrier for a genetic condition? Should I get genetic testing?
We encourage you to speak with your doctor regarding the option of extended genetic testing, and risks associated with selecting a donor who is a known carrier for a genetic condition.
We offer genetic testing services directly via Myriad Genetics.
For more information, please visit this link: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/counsyl-carrier-screening/
I am seeing CMV status listed for your donors. What does this mean?
Cytomegalovirus, commonly known as CMV, is a common virus that most American adults have been exposed to and have developed immunity to. In healthy adults and children, CMV can cause mild cold or flu-like symptoms that may last 1-2 weeks. However, if a woman who has never had CMV becomes exposed during pregancy, there is a small risk the child may develop neurologic abnormalities.
For more information about CMV please refer to this link:
How do I place an order?
Once you have selected a donor, it is easy to place an order. There are a few things you should determine before you place your order:
- What type and quantity of vials will you need?
- Do you want additional vials backups / future siblings?
- When do you plan to have your insemination?
- How many vials do you need shipped for that insemination procedure?
- What date should the vials be delivered to ensure they arrive on time for your procedure?
Once your have determined the above information, you are ready to place your order. You can either place your order online, or by contacting our customer service team during business hours.
Order via Website
From the Find a Donor screen, search for the donor your are interested in.
Click on the donor profile you are interesting in purchasing.
From the donor profile screen, look for the Buy ICI/IUI Units section. Select the quantity of available vials you wish to purchase and click on the Add button.
Once you are done adding vials, click on View Cart/Checkout.
The Cart screen will list the vials you are purchasing and allow you to specify how many vials should be shipped vs stored, as well as your Storage Term and Shipment Details.
Using the slider, indicate how many vials you plan to ship initially and how many you wish to store for future use. Click on the Update button that appears.
If you are shipping vials, then select the Arrival Date when you want the vials to arrive.
If you are storing vials, then select the amount of storage you need under the Vial Storage drop-down and click on the Update button beneath it.
Click on the Checkout button.
On the checkout screen, fill out your Customer Information. If you are shipping vials you will also need to fill out the Delivery Information.
For deliveries, select the type of delivery using the Deliver To drop-down at the top.
Fill out all of the delivery information.
Please double-check that you have the correct delivery address. A wrong address may impact timely delivery of your vials.
Enter your payment information at the bottom of the screen.
Click on Complete Purchase.
Our customer service team is available to assist you with placing an order. Please contact them between business hours for assistance.
How much does it cost to purchase, store, and ship donor sperm?
For a full break down of costs associated with purchasing, storing, and shipping units, please see the Fees section of our website:
What paperwork do I need to fill out prior to my vials being shipped?
There are a few different mandatory forms you may need to complete prior to shipment depending on your selected donor and your shipping destination. For detailed information about our forms, please refer to this link: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/about-us/forms/
Purchaser Semen & Storage Agreement
All customers must have a Purchaser Semen and Storage Agreement on file with Seattle Sperm Bank. Only submit this form one time. It will be saved for future orders and shipments.
If vials are shipped to your home or picked up at our office please have a physician or other licensed healthcare provider sign our Clinical Release Form.
If you are a having your order shipped within NY State, this release form is required for all orders and can only be completed by your physician.
This form can be printed, signed and faxed to: (206) 466-4696 or scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
If your donor is a carrier for a known genetic condition, you will be required to sign an Informed Consent Form. This form is located on the donor’s profile page where required.
How do I ensure my vials arrive in time for my scheduled insemination?
It is important that your vials arrive on time. Help us ensure that happens by taking the following steps:
- Submit required forms/paperwork promptly, do not wait until the last minute. If we do not receive required paperwork then your shipment will be delayed.
- Select a delivery date two to three days before your insemination. We work closely with our shipment vendors to ensure timely delivery, but events beyond our control do occur that can delay delivery of packages by one or two business days. Because of this, it is prudent to schedule the delivery two to three days before they are needed.
- If you are working with a clinic, ask then when/where you should have the vials delivered. Some clinics require delivery specific facilities on certain days.
- Let us know immediately if you plans change and you need us to hold your vials for future date.
Can I store vials at Seattle Sperm Bank?
Seattle Sperm Bank can store your donor vials onsite at our lab in Seattle. Purchasing vials before hand and storing them at our lab is a good method of ensuring that the donor you want is available when you are ready for insemination.
All newly purchased vials receive one month of free storage. We offer a number of storage terms at reasonable prices.
Please view our pricing at this link: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/services/prices/
Can I return vials that have been shipped?
If a vial has left our facility it can be returned to your storage account as long as it has not thawed out.
Any vials returned to us are not eligible for our buy back program.
What if I store vials then decide I don't want them anymore?
SSB offers a Buy Back program for any unused vials that are still in storage at our facility and have never been shipped. Units that have not left our facility may be eligible to be sold back to us for 50% of the original cost, for up to 2 years from the purchase date.
For our complete Buy Back program, please visit: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/why-use-us/buy-back-program/
How do I ship vials I have in storage?
If you wish to ship vials you have in storage, you can create a shipment order via our website or by contacting our customer service team.
Website – My Account Screen
Navigate to the My Account screen by clicking on the My Account or Log In button in the upper right corner of seattlespermbank.com website.
On the My Account screen, click on the Storage button or navigate down the screen to the Vial Storage
Under Vial Storage, each of your Donors* will be displayed. Your Donor Inventory and Downloads will be listed. If you have current Donor Inventory in Storage, you will see a Ship Vials
* When submitting a new order, changes to your inventory will not be immediately reflected in your My Account page.
To ship vials from your storage, select the Quantity of Vials you wish to ship from the dropdown and click on the Ship.
Our customer service team is happy to assist you with placing a shipment order for vials you have in storage. Please contact them between business hours to create your shipment order.
How do I extend my term of storage?
If you need to extend your term of storage, you can do so through our website or by contacting our customer service team.
Website – My Account Screen
- Navigate to the My Account screen by clicking on the My Account or Log In button in the upper right corner of seattlespermbank.com website.
- On the My Account screen, click on the Storage button or navigate down the screen to the Vial Storage
- Under Vial Storage, your current Storage End Date will be displayed. This is the date your current storage will expire.
- To extend storage, select the storage product you would like to purchase from the Add Storage drop down box. Upon selecting a storage product, your new storage Expiration Date will be calculated.
- Click on the Add button to purchase the storage product and proceed to the Delivery & Payment
- Enter your Customer Information.
- The Review Items section near the bottom of the screen will list your selected Vial Storage product and list the total cost.
- Enter your Payment Method and click on Complete Purchase.
Our customer service team is happy to assist you with extending your storage. Please contact them between business hours to add an additional term of storage to your account.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards, including VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
For those interesting in financing, Seattle Sperm Bank works with a variety of Financing Companies to offer patients fast and easy financing options. For more information go to: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/patient-financing/
Do I need to use a fertility clinic?
No you do not. If you have authorization from your physician, you can do a home insemination. Please review our instructions for home insemination at https://www.seattlespermbank.com/learning-hub/videos/.
If you are interested in working with a clinic and you have not already selected one, you can view our a Find a Fertility Clinic page for information on clinics we work frequently with at this link: https://www.seattlespermbank.com/find-a-clinic/
Help & Support
How do I contact someone for help?
If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us using one of the following methods:
By Email – Send an email to us at anytime. We typically respond back to customer emails during our standard business hours.
- General Questions – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shipping Questions – email@example.com
- Form Submission – firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Chat – Online chat is available during business hours. Click on the Chat popup in the lower right to start a chat session.
By Phone – Contact us during business hours by phone.
- Customer Service Phone – (206) 588-1484
- Fax Line for Form Submission – (206) 466-4696
Business Hours – Our customer service is available Monday through Saturday.
- Weekdays – 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM PST
- Saturdays – 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM PST
How do I report a pregnancy or birth?
Navigate to the My Account screen by clicking on the My Account or Log In button in the upper right corner of seattlespermbank.com website.
On the My Account screen, click on the Pregnancy & Birth Reporting
The Pregnancy and Birth Reporting form will appear.
Fill out the form and click on Send.
How do I see my order receipts?
On the My Account screen, click on the Recent Orders button or navigate down the screen to the Recent Orders
The Recent Orders section will display your most recent orders. You can use the View and Print button to view and print an order receipt.
How do I Add a Donor to my Favorites?
Make sure you are logged onto the website with your account. You can login from the my-account screen.
Search for a donor from the Find a Donor screen. Click on a donor to open their profile.
To add a donor as a favorite, click on the heart icon to the left of the Donor Title, or click on the Add to Favorites button in the lower right corner.
How do I View my Favorites?
How do I find forms I need to fill out?
On the My Account screen, click on the Forms button or navigate down the screen to the Forms
Under Forms, a list of required documentation will be listed. Please fill out and submit any forms that are listed as Needed or that are requested by our customer service staff. Forms typically only need to be signed once.
Please submit these forms to Seattle Sperm Bank either via DocuSign (when available) or by email or fax.
How do I request a Second Parent Adoption Letter?
We are happy to provide the documentation that you need for a Second Parent Adoption. Just email our team at CS@seattlespermbank.com with the following information:
- Carrying Parent
- Child’s DOB
- Donor Used
What if I don't need my Stored Vials anymore?
If you no longer need your Stored Vials, Seattle Sperm Bank offers a buy-back program for vials purchased within 24 months that have not left our facility. For more information, see our Buy Back Program page.
Vial Transfers / Transfer of Vial Ownership
We no longer offer a vial transfer / transfer of vial ownership service.
If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.
Purchase An All Access Pass
Get unlimited access to full donor bios, including baby photos, audio interviews, extended profiles, and Keirsey tests.