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Nine Frequently Asked Questions on Shipping Your Embryos to Another Fertility Clinic
There are a number of scenarios where you may find you need to ship your embryos to another fertility clinic. Make sure to ask your cryogenic shipping provider the following questions:
- How are my embryos shipped? The shipping and receiving dates are coordinated with the IVF clinics. Ideally, the shipping provider will coordinate all necessary logistics and the embryos are shipped with a carrier partner.
- How are my embryos protected? Embryos should be shipped in liquid nitrogen carriers that can maintain a constant -150 degrees Celsius for 10 days or more.
- How long can they be in transit? Most liquid nitrogen based dry shippers (cryoshippers) can be in transit for 10 days.
- How do I coordinate with the fertility clinics? You will contact you current clinic and the clinic that will be receiving your embryos that the shipment will take place and to confirm what paperwork will be needed. An experienced cryogenic shipping company should handle all the logistics for you.
- Can I ship internationally? Yes. Many fertility patients who are using a surrogate in another country ship frozen embryos. An experienced cryogenic shipping company will handle all the logistics, including advice on paperwork to clear customs.
- How is customs handled if I ship internationally? You’ll need to make sure that the clinic receiving your embryos is authorized to receive human tissue or products. If so, you’ll need to generate paperwork for customs. A company experienced in shipping embryos internationally can advise you on getting your embryos through customs with the right paperwork.
- How is shipping tracked? Your shipping company should have a 24 hour-a-day / 7 days-a-week global tracking and monitoring system.
- What if there’s a problem? Shipments sometimes experience problems. Make sure your shipping company is prepared to handle unexpected delays. They should have a customer service team available 24/7 to ensure shipments are delivered safely.
- What will shipping include? Shipping should include logistics coordination directly with the patient and clinics, 24/7 patient support and the specialized liquid nitrogen container as well as the shipping.