Seattle Sperm Bank offers different vial types for different treatment uses. We’re going to break down each vial type and what treatment types they are typically used for. Your best source of information for your treatment plan will always come from your healthcare provider, but do not hesitate to reach out to us if you wish to learn more about our vial offerings or need any support!
IUI vials are the most common type of vial purchased regardless of treatment. IUI vials are washed which means the semen sample has been processed to remove the fluid portion (seminal fluid) and other cells found in semen samples (sperm cells that are not moving, white blood cells, and skin cells). The contents that remain in an IUI sample are motile sperm cells, fluid that support the sperm cells, and cryoprotectant. A cryoprotectant is a fluid that helps the cells survive the freezing process.
IUI vials are ready to use for any insemination type, intrauterine insemination (IUI) with a healthcare professional or IVF. IUI vials can also be used at home for intracervical insemination (ICI) or self-insemination.
Fast Facts About IUI Vials:
- IUI vials are sold in 0.5ml volumes with a guarantee of 10 million motile sperm cells.
- IUI vials can be used for all insemination procedures.
- IUI vials are appropriate for home insemination.
- IUI vials are the most commonly used vial type.
ICI vials are less common because they are harder for donors to produce. These samples are not washed to remove the seminal fluid and other cells. Instead, these semen samples have only cryoprotectants added to help the sperm cells survive the freezing process. This minimal processing means the semen sample must have exceptional quality without any further processing. As a result, fewer donors are able to provide these types of samples, and you will see fewer of these types of vials available for purchase.
ICI vials can be used for any insemination type, the same as IUI vials. However, a healthcare professional will need to wash these samples before being used in an IUI or IVF procedure. These can be used for at-home insemination or ICI without further processing.
Fast Facts About ICI Vials:
- ICI vials are sold in 1.0ml volumes with a guarantee of 15 million motile sperm cells.
- ICI vials can be used for all insemination procedures, but a healthcare specialist will need to wash the samples before use in an IUI procedure.
- ICI vials are appropriate for at-home insemination.
ART Vials come in both IUI ART and ICI ART or washed and unwashed respectively. These vials contain much fewer sperm cells than their counterparts, which would not be as effective for all treatment types as a single vial. IVF procedures, such as intracytoplasmic injection and conventional insemination, require fewer sperm cells for treatment. If you know your care plan includes an IVF procedure, you can speak with your team to see if an ART vial would be suitable for your needs.
Alternatively, if you find that your donor has only ART vials, you may have the option to use multiple vials for an IUI or ICI procedure. Speaking with your healthcare team would be the best way to find out if this is an option for your treatment.
Fast Facts About ART Vials:
- IUI ART vials are sold in 0.5ml volumes with 5-9 million motile sperm cells
- ICI ART vials are sold in 1.0ml volumes with 5-14 million motile sperm cells
- Both ART vials can be used for IVF procedures such as ICSI, where higher numbers of sperm cells are not required.
- ART vials are not appropriate for use with at-home insemination.
- It may be possible to combine multiple ART vials to use in IUI and ICI procedures. Speak with your healthcare team to find out if this is an option for your treatment.
ICSI vials are a specialized type of vial with a limited number of motile sperm cells. These are washed vials, like IUI vial types, but with fewer total motile cells than other washed vials. These samples are a great option for ICSI treatments.
If you find that these are the only vials available for your chosen donor, it may be possible to use multiple vials for other treatment types. We recommend you speak with your healthcare team before purchasing these for your treatment.
Fast Facts About ICSI Vials:
- ICSI vials are sold in 0.5ml volumes with 1-4 million motile sperm cells.
- ICSI vials can be used for ICSI procedures, where higher sperm cells are not required
- ICSI vials are not well suited for at-home insemination.
- We recommend you speak with your healthcare team before purchasing these for your treatment.
Client Services is here to answer any questions you may have about vial selection. Please reach out to us if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206)588-1484.