Directed Donor: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I should store my specimens through the Directed Donor program, or through the Personal Cryopreservation Program?
A: CryoGam has two different programs for sperm storage, which we call our Personal Cryopreservation program and our Directed (Known) Donor programs. The programs are very different as far as different end-goal usage of sperm specimens. Specimens stored as personal cryopreservation may only be used with a sexually intimate partner in the future. On the other hand, directed donor specimens go through the same FDA screening, testing, and quarantine period as our anonymous donor specimens, with the difference being that directed donors still maintain full control of their specimens. Because directed donor specimens have been screened and quarantined according to FDA standards, they may be used with a gestational carrier or with a surrogate in the future. We typically recommend that our transgender patients go through the directed donor program, as this gives them much more freedom of use with their specimens when they are ready to use them. If a patient chooses the personal cryopreservation program, their specimens can only be used in the future with someone they are sexually intimate with, because as these specimens are not screened or tested they can only be released to someone with whom the patient has already shared bodily fluids.
Q: How much will this cost me?
A: The cost of the program all depends on how many specimens you desire to store. Click here for the current base cost of the program. The base cost includes: Pre-Screening fee, Administrative fee, First Cryopreservation, First Physical Exam and Blood work, and the storage fee. These fees are due before or at the time of the first appointment. Any subsequent deposit is only the cost of the cryopreservation itself. The last required cost is the final physical exam. Any additional costs are optional i.e. initial semen analysis (recommended) and genetic screening.
Q: My doctor is willing to waive the 6-month quarantine for my donor – Will you?
A: It is CryoGam’s policy that we do not waive the 6-month quarantine regardless of the circumstances.
Q: How do I get started?
A: Read through the Directed Donor Process. Afterwards, please call us at 970-667-9901. We will have our initial consultation over the phone to make sure the directed donor program is right for you. We will send you the paperwork that we need PRIOR to the initial appointment through e-mail. Once we receive your completed paperwork we will contact you to set up your first appointment.
Q: How long will it take to set up my initial appointment once you have my paperwork?
A: Once we have your paperwork please allow 1-3 business days for full review. Once we have completed this and your profile is acceptable for the directed donor program, we will need to set up your first appointment in either our Loveland or Denver office. Our Denver office can sometimes be booked out two weeks in advance as well as our Loveland office. Please understand that in scheduling physicals it may take time for us to come to a suitable time to meet everyone’s scheduling needs.
Q: Do the physicals have to be done in your office?
A: The initial physical must be done in our office. If, for any reason, the donor cannot be in our office for the 6-month physical, we do have the ability to send the paperwork for an off-site physical. It is the donor’s responsibility to find a clinic that is willing to perform the off-site physical and blood draw for us. Please understand that having an off-site physical can be complicated and even more time consuming if directions are not followed correctly.
Q: When does the Directed Donor need their second physical?
A: Every specimen stored must be in quarantine for at least 6 months in order for it to be releasable. Typically we advise the intended parent(s) and/or the directed donor to make an appointment 6 months from the LAST collection date. For example: If the intent is to store ten total specimens, count 6 months from the last collection date i.e. when the tenth sample was collected. You may have your final physical on or after the 180th day. We recommend having the final physical as close to the 180-day (6 month) mark as possible.
Q: Can my directed donor be out of state?
A: If your donor is out of state, we still require the initial physical be done in our office. If you are planning on having your donor coming from out of state to donate in a short amount of time, please keep in mind that we recommend at least 3 days between each deposit to allow the body time to replenish the sperm count. It is the donor’s responsibility to find a physician in their area to perform the final, 6 month physical; otherwise, we recommend the donor has the physical in our office to avoid any errors that could lengthen the process.
Q: Is genetic screening required?
A: Upon review of your donor’s profile, we will recommend genetic screening as we deem appropriate based on the donor’s ethnicity and family history of genetic diseases; however, genetic screening is not required for most donors. The only circumstance that genetic screening is required is if the specimens will be shipped to New York. As we are licensed by the State of NY DOH, we are required to test all donors for Cystic Fibrosis if they are being shipped there.
Q: How often can a donor donate and where?
A: We recommend waiting at least 3 days between each deposit. You may collect specimens at any one of our three offices. Please keep in mind that we can only do physicals in our Denver or Loveland offices.
Q: Will you send me my test results?
A: Upon request we can upload your blood work, cryopreserved semen analysis, cryopreservation log sheet, and genetic screening results to a secure ShareFile account that you may have access to at any time.
Q: I am transgender and have already started my hormones. Can I still start the program?
A: If you have started taking hormones we highly recommend having a semen analysis prior to scheduling your physical and first collection. Hormones affect everyone differently and there is no way to know whether or not the testes have down-regulated yet. If you have your initial cryopreservation appointment and we find that there are no viable sperm cells in the ejaculate, we can only refund your storage fee. All other fees are non-refundable. Click here for the current fee for our complete semen analysis.
Q: Why am I considered an “Ineligible Donor” if I am a gay man?
A: Donor eligibility is determined by the FDA. The FDA does not regulate sexual orientation, rather, sexual behavior. Men who have had sex with another man in the preceding 5 years of his donation are considered a high risk factor for HIV and Hepatitis B; however, this, and certain other ineligibilities may be waived with the correct paperwork signed by the attending physician and CryoGam. Therefore, even with the “Ineligible” status, you may still be considered for the directed donor program.
Q: As a Directed Donor, what are my responsibilities?
A: The Directed Donor process can be long and complicated; however, communication with us and the intended parents is key. Make sure you have clear arrangements with the person or people you are donating for. We always recommend reaching out for legal counsel regardless of how close you are to the intended parents so that expectations are clear. For more information on your responsibilities, please review our Directed Donor Statement of Understanding.
Q: As the Intended Parent(s) what are my responsibilities?
A: Here at CryoGam we understand how complicated and stressful this can be. Time is of the essence in most cases. In order for you to get the most out of the experience, it is essential that you have a clear line of communication with your donor and us, as well as the fertility center that you may be working with. For more information on what you as an intended parent can expect, please review our Intended Parent(s) Statement of Understanding.