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What is a sperm bank?

A sperm bank is a place where a fertile man can store a sample of his sperm for future use in inseminating an egg through in vitro fertilization or other artificial insemination method. Until it is used, the sperm is kept frozen in liquid nitrogen. Men who are about to undergo treatment that may cause infertility, as for some forms of cancer, may wish to bank their sperm for future use.

When choosing a sperm bank to find a sperm donor, Resolve/The National Infertility Association, recommends asking questions, including:
  • What is the minimum and maximum age of the donors?
  • What information about the donor's background does the sperm bank keep in records and what information will I be provided about the donor?
  • Does the sperm bank keep a medical history of the donor? How long do they keep a donor's medical records?
  • Are donors screened or tested for diseases and what is the sperm bank's policy if sexually transmitted diseases or certain inheritable diseases are detected?
  • Does the sperm bank screen donors for drug use?
  • Does the sperm bank offer a service for adult children conceived with the donated sperm to gain access to the donor's medical records, if necessary?
  • Will the sperm bank continue to store a donor's frozen sperm so that a couple can use the same donor for a second child?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.