Shipping Frozen Sperm Samples

If you have to travel to India for IVF treatment, you don’t really have to bring your husband along with you. All you have to do is bring his frozen sperm sample with you in a special dry shipper. If this is something you don’t want to do yourself, you can simply get in touch with a courier company that will do this for you. The ones you can contact are:

  • Time and Temperature Couriers at you will have to request your clinic to provide complete documentation about the sperm
  • If you are unable to organize to get the sperm frozen you can ship it to us via FedEX courier using the BioTranz device that is manufactured by ZDL,Inc

You can also carry the sperm yourself. One of our patients has discovered a much simpler and easier method. I was always under the impression that in order to transport sperm, it is necessary to have a dry shipper – that keeps the frozen sperm at minus 196 C. However, these containers are extremely big and bulky and very expensive as well. They are difficult to procure and even more difficult to carry. On the other hand, a dry ice box costs nothing more than a few dollars and any caterer can provide you the dry ice. This is how our patient, Lisa Walia did it (She herself is an embryologist).

  • Obtain a small personal cooler @ 8qt ( for example, Cool 8). You can buy one from
  • Fill (Pack) entire cooler with dry ice. This can be obtained from a caterer at about $1.50/pd
  • Collect frozen sample that is already frozen in liquid nitrogen at the local clinic
  • Disperse vials evenly throughout the cooler
  • Be prepared to sign a document stating the clinic has no responsibility for the sample after it is released
  • Have the clinic write up statement about what the sample is and where it is going.( For example, ... Clinic certifies that the contents of these tow containers are human sperm samples of ... frozen and stored in dry ice.)
  • Attach all paperwork to the cooler so it is clearly visible
  • Carry extra copies of these documents with you
  • Do not tape the cooler shut, as it might have to be opened for security checks
  • Do not let cooler be passed through X-Ray, this could hinder the samples viability
  • Do not open the Cooler for extended periods of time. The less you open the cooler the better
  • Keep the cooler in areas of lowest temperature possible. Ask the airline if they can store the whole cooler in their refrigerator or freezer on board
  • Keep fly/ transportation time to a minimum. Dry ice only lasts 24-48 hours depending on how it is stored
  • Get cooler to Dr. Malpani as soon as possible for entry back into liquid nitrogen suspension.


  • Obtain the dry ice and the sample just before your flight
  • Can handle dry ice with bare hands if you move quickly
  • Always inform anyone who asks what the cooler is, for its safety
  • If security opens the cooler, do so only for minimal times
  • Once they know what it is they actually want to help !

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form that I can guide you!

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.