Ordering & Shipping FAQs

Please be sure to read and understand our Terms of Use Letter which explains what to expect from our semen donor program and what we expect from you when purchasing our semen and other services. The Terms of Use Letter must be signed and returned to us prior to shipment of any donor specimens. The form may be returned by fax, mail or a scanned image into an email. You may contact Client Service for assistance. 

  • I need to place an order for donor sperm, do I place the order with you or do I contact my physician?

    Your Licensed Physician/Practitioner has set up his or her account with Fairfax Cryobank with their order billing preference- patient pre-pay or physician bill. Most of our accounts are set up for patients to contact us with their payment information. Your health care provider should inform you how they wish for you to place your order. If you are paying for the order please contact us directly by calling customer service or ordering online. If this is your first order we do suggest you place your order over the phone so that you become familiar with the ordering process. If your physician is billing his or her office for the order then someone from his or her office will place the order for you.

  • When do I need to place my order?

    We recommend placing your order as soon as you know the date your physician wants the units delivered to ensure donor availability; preferably one week prior to your scheduled procedure. You can place your order and establish a shipping date up to thirty days in advance. If your procedure is more than 30 days away you can also place an order to put into storage. Read more about our  Vial Buy and Store/Vial Buy Back options.

  • What type of sperm preparation do I need?

    This depends on the type of procedure you will undergo (artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF) with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) ) and what your health care professional prefers. Our IUI (washed) and ICI (standard) prepared specimens can be used for artificial insemination. Our IUI specimens have been washed to remove the seminal plasma and are ready for an intrauterine insemination. Our ICI specimens can be used for an intracervical insemination or can be prepared at your physician’s office for an intrauterine insemination. The IVF as well as the ICI can be used for in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection and both preps will need further processing at your health care provider’s office. Before placing your order it is best to consult your physician regarding which sperm preparation to order.

    To learn more about what type of sperm vial you should order for your procedure, view our infographic on the Specimen Information page.

  • How many sperm vials do I need to order?

    For clients doing IUI cycles, national averages range from 3-4 insemination cycles per successful pregnancy. Your physician may require 1 or 2 vials for each insemination. We recommend purchasing at least 4 vials per pregnancy. You may wish to purchase multiple units for future cycles or family building and place into storage at Fairfax Cryobank.


    For more information on how many vials of sperm to order, view our blog post.

  • When will my order arrive via FedEx?

    We recommend that you request your shipment to arrive at least one day prior to use. FedEx Priority Overnight shipping will arrive the next business day by 12:30pm. FedEx Two-Day shipping will arrive the second business day between 8:00am-5:00pm. For example, if you need the samples to arrive at your physician’s office on a Friday and you select the Two-Day shipping then the samples would be shipped Wednesday of that same week. If you select Priority Overnight shipping the order would be shipped on Thursday to arrive on Friday. If your physician has long-term storage for sperm you can have your order arrive at anytime prior to your procedure. FedEx email tracking is now available so ask Client Services about email notification of your shipment information.

  • What type of information do I need to place an order?
    • Health care provider’s name, address, and phone number

    • Shipping address (if different than provider’s address)

    • Patient name, address, and phone number (or your customer number if you have placed other orders)

    • Donor number(s) in order of preference

    • Number of vials and preparation type (ICI, IUI or IVF)

    • Date the units need to arrive at the provider’s office

    • Type of shipping (FedEx Two Day, FedEx Priority Overnight, local courier, patient pick up)

    • Payment information.

    • Signed and returned Terms of Use letter

  • What should I do once I place my order?

    Fairfax Cryobank suggests calling your health care provider once you have placed the order with the delivery information. You will need your order number, donor number and preparation type to complete our online pregnancy report form.

  • I need to ship to another country. How is that done?

    International shipments to countries not serviced by Federal Express are carried by the most appropriate service available. Door to door services may not be available in all countries; in such cases, shipments may only be from door to airport thus requiring the physician or patient to make arrangements for final transport to the physician’s office. In some situations, a deposit of $975.00 (U.S. dollars) may be required for each nitrogen container shipped internationally. The deposit is refundable upon return of the shipping container in good condition to Fairfax Cryobank. Fees and arrangements associated with the return of the shipping container to Fairfax Cryobank are the responsibility of the person receiving the shipment. All fees including the shipping container deposit (if applicable) must be paid prior to shipment.

  • Do I have to open an account?

    Fairfax Cryobank requires that all clients be under the care of a health care professional and that the health care professional establish an account with us. Patients do not have to open an account with us to purchase donor information or donor sperm. Your physician can contact customer service and have the forms mailed or faxed to them. If you place an order for donor sperm to go into storage at Fairfax Cryobank you will open a storage account.

  • I’m not sure if my physician has an account set up with you- what should I do?

    You may contact the customer service department and ask them to search the database for your health care professional or contact your health care provider. If your physician does not have an account they can set up, we can fax or mail the forms to your physician.

  • Can I perform the procedure at home?

    Once your health care professional establishes an account with Fairfax Cryobank we can arrange for donor sperm to be shipped to any location, however, you will need to have authorization from your physician if it is being shipped to your home. Please ask your physician to contact customer service and we will fax them the Home Delivery Consent Form. The form must be completed by your physician and faxed to customer service before an order is placed. Instructions for performing the procedure and equipment should be obtained from your physician.

  • Does Fairfax Cryobank have a return policy?

    Once donor sperm vials have been shipped out, Fairfax Cryobank cannot accept them back for credit; however, you can return them to be placed into a storage account. You may return any unused specimens purchased at regular prices, and have never left Fairfax Cryobank, to receive half the original purchase price back. Please note that our Vial Buy Back program is not offered on specimens that have been transferred by the original owner.

  • I have selected a donor but am not completely ready to place my order, can you hold units?

    Fairfax Cryobank offers a 7 day courtesy hold with no obligation. This service is only available for donors with more than 20 vials available. Please contact Client Services and ask to place a “7 day hold order”. You will need to contact customer service by the 7th day with the ship date or instructions to place the vial(s) in storage. If we do not hear from you by 8PM EST on the 7th day the order is automatically cancelled.

  • What type of storage options do you offer if I want to purchase and store sperm for a particular donor?

    Fairfax Cryobank offers storage terms for storage accounts ranging from 1 month to yearly long-term contracts. Purchasing units to put into a storage account is a great way to ensure that vials from the donor you have selected are available for both current and future cycles. Please see our vial buy and store information and our Fees Schedule for storage pricing options.

  • What type of storage billing options does Fairfax offer?

    Please see the Storage Services section of our website for more details.

  • What forms are required to store specimens with Fairfax?

    Our Terms of Use Agreement, which is a document that is signed before you place your first semen order, includes all of our storage terms.  The only additional form required is our Billing Agreement, which can be signed electronically online, here. Please note a signed billing agreement is required whether or not you have free storage.

  • What should I do when I’m ready to ship out of my storage account?

    When you desire to remove part, or all of the specimens, you may contact Fairfax Cryobank and give instructions as to the (a) number of doses to be removed, (b) the name and address of where it should be delivered, and (c) the date to arrive. A $45 handling and inventory processing fee will be charged each time specimens are removed from storage. Charges for shipment will depend on the method and time of delivery.

  • How are the specimens stored?

    All semen specimens are stored at -196°C in liquid nitrogen tanks equipped with automatic fill devices and alarm systems. Fairfax Cryobank also provides liquid nitrogen transport tanks for shipping patient specimens to their physician or health care provider when requested for use.

  • How long can you store frozen sperm?

    Cryopreserved specimens, when properly stored, will remain viable for an indefinite amount of time. Pregnancies have been reported for cases in which the sperm has been stored for 30 years prior to thawing and insemination.

  • How are the sperm specimens shipped?

    All of our specimens are shipped in liquid nitrogen vapor tanks via FedEx, local courier, or local patient pick up. The liquid nitrogen vapor tank is inside of a hard outer case for FedEx orders and a cardboard box for local orders.  The inner canister (vapor tank) is fastened using a cable tie to prevent tampering. Shipping papers are contained inside the outer case which contains a packing slip with the following information about your order: your health care provider’s name and address, your name and address, your donor number and specimen preparation, number of vials, and post thaw count and motility for each units. Also included are a summary of records detailing the donor testing and a statement of donor eligibility, specimen thawing instructions, return instructions and prepaid return labels.

  • I am local to your facility in Fairfax, Virginia, can I pick up my order?

    Fairfax Cryobank offers free local patient pick up from the Fairfax, VA location. The liquid nitrogen vapor tank is contained in a cardboard box to reduce weight. The tank is due back to our laboratory within 10 days. During transport to your physician’s office we recommend keeping the tank upright.

  • What is your address for pickups in Fairfax?

    Our address is 3015 Williams Drive Fairfax, VA 22031. Please go directly to Suite 108 for all pickup and drop-offs.

  • What are your pickup and drop-off hours?

    Pickup and drop-off hours are Monday – Friday from 9:30AM – 4PM EST. Our lab is not open on weekends. We recommend arriving no later than 3:45PM as our lab closes promptly at 4PM.

  • What is required in order for me to pickup? Can I have someone else pickup for me? 

    You will need a valid government issued photo ID available at the time of picking up.  If the person picking up is not the intended patient, they will need to have the patient name available as well as a valid government issued photo ID.

  • How long do I have to return the tank once I’ve picked up?

    All shipper tanks must be returned to Fairfax in proper working condition within ten days from the date of pickup. Additional fees may apply for a lost, misplaced and/or damaged tank.

    Any changes, or cancellations, must be made one business day in advance prior to your scheduled pickup date to avoid a $100 restocking fee. Additional fees will apply for same day cancellations and/or changes.

  • I am local to your laboratory in Austin, TX, can I pick up my order?

    Fairfax Cryobank offers local patient pick up in the Austin, TX location once the donor sperm has been shipped from our Fairfax, VA location (you will have to pay FedEx fee). All of our donor sperm inventory out of quarantine is held in the Fairfax, VA location. You can place an order to ship and pick up in Austin or you can place an order to be shipped to Austin for storage.

  • I am local to your laboratory in Philadelphia, PA, can I pick up my order?

    Fairfax Cryobank offers local patient pick up in the Philadelphia, PA location once the donor sperm has been shipped from our Fairfax, VA location (you will have to pay FedEx fee). All of our donor sperm inventory out of quarantine is held in the Fairfax, VA location. You can place an order to ship and pick up in Philadelphia or you can place an order to be shipped to Philadelphia for storage.

  • Do you ship sperm specimens on dry ice?

    No, Fairfax Cryobank stores all of its specimens in liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of -196 degrees centigrade. Dry ice has a temperature of -78.5 degrees centigrade that is far above the temperature in which we store specimens and can result in a partial thaw process that is detrimental to the quality of the samples. For this reason Fairfax Cryobank does not ship samples on dry ice.

  • How long are the specimens maintained frozen in the shipping tanks?

    Our standard shipping tanks have a guarantee of 7 days. Upon request and for an additional fee we can send your specimens in a 2 week tank in which the vials are guaranteed frozen for 14 days.

  • I’m not sure when my procedure is scheduled but want to go ahead and order donor sperm, what are my options?

    Check with your physician about the storage capabilities they offer. If storing the specimens at your doctor’s office is an option, you can go ahead and place your order and have them shipped to be stored at your physician’s office until needed. If your physician does not offer storage you can order specimens to put into storage at our facility and have them shipped when you know when you will need them. Additionally, you could place an order on courtesy hold for 7 business days and you would need to contact customer service by the 7th day with the ship date or instructions to place the specimen(s) in storage.

  • Can Fairfax Cryobank arrange payment of donor semen with my insurance?

    Fairfax Cryobank does not have the facilities to bill insurance companies directly for reimbursement. Fairfax Cryobank can provide you with copies of paid invoices to submit to insurance companies upon request.

  • What payment methods does Fairfax Cryobank accept?

    We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. See all options to set up financing here: Financing Options.  We also accept money orders and cashier checks. Cash is accepted for local pickups only. Fairfax Cryobank must receive payment before any order leaves our facility.