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5 Tips for Seeking Frozen Embryo, Egg or Sperm Storage
a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Director of Operations, Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc., December 2, 2010
- Is the facility FDA registered?
- Are the storage tanks monitored constantly?
- Are the storage costs reasonable?
- Does the facility have staff available to facilitate your transfer needs?
- Does the facility have a good history and reputation?
FDA registration is important because it demonstrates a highly regulated and controlled system that includes standard operating procedures and regulated storage of infectious samples in quarantine separate from non-infectious samples. The facility should have their FDA certification displayed and the information online.
Storage tanks are best monitored by temperature and Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) level. The best cryobanks will have their tanks on an electronic monitoring system that is set to alert staff if there is ever an issue with power failure, temperature or LN2 level.
The cost of storage for reproductive tissue (frozen eggs, frozen sperm and frozen embryos) varies greatly. Some cryobanks charge up to four times more than others. Shop around for the best prices. Many clinics are not set up for long-term storage of the samples and will offer alternatives for your samples after one year. In this arena, some of the best, most reputable storage facilities are the most affordable.
Having staff on hand is important. When the time comes for your samples to be transferred to a clinic for use, you will best be served by having knowledgeable staff available for your call and questions. This also helps in assuring that your paper work is processed quickly and properly to ensure transfer of the samples when needed.
Knowing that you are working with a sperm bank, egg bank or cryobank that has a proven history of safe and reliable storage is important. You want your samples in the best hands possible. Trust in the facility is essential. Read information about the facility and ask all of the questions that you need to in order to feel confident in the facility and their staff.