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There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Question: What’s the difference between semen specimen types?

March 05, 2020

Learn more about the difference between sperm vial types

specimen under a microscope

As you start your journey to pregnancy with a sperm donor, there will be a lot of questions that you’ll have. Some questions might seem silly or obvious but there is no such thing as a bad question when it comes to growing your family! This is the first of many blogs in the new series, “There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Question.” This series will touch on common questions that our families at Fairfax Cryobank have that could help you with your journey to pregnancy. This post will be covering the difference between each specimen type. Read on to learn more.

What’s the difference between sperm vial types?

Vial types vary based on insemination procedure needs.

IUI – Intrauterine Insemination. Intrauterine or prewashed specimens. IUI vials or IUI ART vials are typically the preferred choice. The most common choice is 2 IUI vials per procedure or 4 IUI ART vials per procedure. IUI ready specimens are prepared by washing the fresh ejaculate specimen to remove the seminal plasma contents prior to freezing.

ICI– Intracervical Insemination, standard or unwashed specimens. ICI vials or ICI ART vials are typically the preferred choice. The most common choice is 2 vials per procedure or 4 ICI ART vials per procedure. ICI specimens contain seminal plasma and require additional processing if used in procedures other than intracervical insemination.

IVF – In vitro fertilization, unwashed specimens. IVF vials are typically the preferred choice. The most common choice is 2 vials per procedure. ICI ART vials are an alternative if IVF vials are not available. The most common choice is 2 vials per procedure.   IVF specimens contain seminal plasma and may require additional processing. IVF specimens may be combined to increase sperm count numbers and can be used in an insemination.

ART- Home Insemination. ICI vials or ICI ART vials are typically the preferred choice. The most common choice is 2 ICI vials per procedure or 4 ICI ART vials per procedure. Vials have a slightly lower total motile cell count (TMC) than our IUI and ICI vials. The specimen quality standard for ART vials is > 6 million TMC per vials. ART vials can be used individually or combined for insemination.

If you’re still unsure of your sperm preparation type, our Client Services team is always available to assist you and answer all questions! You can reach them at info@fairfaxcryobank.com or by calling 1-800-338-8407.

At Fairfax Cryobank we strive to match you with your perfect donor, from specimen type to hair type. Our donor search filters are easy to use while also including advanced search options like blood type and even a donor’s astrological sign. Start your journey to pregnancy here!

To learn more about Donor Sperm at Fairfax Cryobank visit our FAQ page.

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