Causes & Treatment

Thinking about transporting frozen embryos? Ask these 6 questions, first

Emma Harpham in partnership with ARKCryo  |  25 Jan 2024


Whether you’re currently having fertility treatment abroad, or you’re keeping your reproductive materials on ice, transporting frozen embryos may end up being a part of your journey. 

But where do you start, when you’ve decided it’s time to move them? How do you choose a cryoshipping service, and what’s key to know about the shipping process?

Transporting frozen embryos – the 101

We’ve partnered with the team at ARKCryo, for what to check off before transporting your frozen embryos. They’ve got 10 years of experience in overseeing all aspects of the process, from the specifics of safe frozen embryo transportation worldwide, to dealing with paperwork and customs clearance.

Sitting down with Vladyslav Zherebylo, Head of Sales at ARKCryo, we gathered all the questions you might want to ask your cryoshopping provider, before hitting go on embryo shipping

Read on for his handy checklist.

transporting frozen embryos

What to ask, before hitting go

1. How will my embryos be collected and stored?

First things first – asking how your embryos will be collected (and stored!) can help you get a much clearer picture when you’re considering IVF cryoshipping.

Typically, a medical courier will come to your clinic with a fully charged cryoshipper that has a temperature of around -196°. The courier should pass the cryoshipper to a responsible person in the clinic. This person will place biomaterial inside the container, close it, and pass it back to the courier with all supporting documents. 

Before sealing the cryoshipper, the medical courier should;

  • Check whether more liquid nitrogen needs to be added
  • Take the temperature with a temperature logger
  • Double-check your documents

Your embryos can typically be safely stored for up to 6 days in a small cryoshipper, and up to 14 days in a larger cryoshipper.

2. How much does it cost to ship frozen embryos?

This might be one of the first questions you ask – costs are such a huge aspect of fertility treatment, and you’ll want to know how it all stacks up.

Shipping and delivery costs for frozen embryos will mostly depend on the location of origin, as well as the destination of the medical institute or fertility clinic you want to send them to.

You’ll probably be asked to specify the name and address of the clinic, as well as the type and quantity of the embryos you want to ship, in response to this question.

Want an approximate cost sample breakdown? Check out ARKCryo’s sample pricing here.

3. What embryo shipping insurance is offered?

Another important question for your peace of mind! Asking this will help you understand the range of embryo shipping insurance options and guarantees your cryoshipping provider offers.

Insurance should offer some sort of level of financial coverage that you can fall back on, in the (very unlikely!) event that any damage occurs during the shipping process. 

For example, at ARKCryo, you can choose from 3 levels of insurance which differ in coverage amount, giving you the flexibility to pick the option that suits you best.

4. Are there hand-carry options?

For some of us, knowing our embryos are being carried by hand rather than sent off by themselves, can feel really reassuring – especially if you’re looking to ship internationally.

With a hand-carry option, your professionally trained courier will personally take care of your embryos, travelling with the shipment by their side. 

During the journey, they can also;

  • Monitor the cryoshipper’s temperature in real time
  • Ensure that your cryoshipper won’t be x-rayed 
  • Chat with you, and even send photo progress updates
  • React quickly to any disruption during transportation (like a flight delay or cancellation)

Transporting embryos internationally? Ask about ARKCryo’s options. Most of their shipment options are hand-carry, offering a more personal approach to transporting frozen embryos.

transporting embryos internationally

5. Do you offer legal and customs support for transporting embryos internationally? 

Navigating legislation can be a trickier aspect of embryo shipping, especially if you’re sending beyond borders. 

It can save you a huge headache if you know your cryoshipper can complete all of the paperwork for you, in advance.

ARKCryo provides end-to-end legal and customs support documents for all shipments – so you don’t have to worry about it. This option will be included in the final price for transportation, too.

6. How long will the embryo shipping process take? 

Make sure to talk timings with your cryoshipping provider, especially if you’re in the middle of planning IVF treatment

As a guide, the embryo delivery timeline will usually depend on the destination. Normally shipping takes 2-5 days, however, for some continents like Australia or Asia, it could take 3-7 days.

Ask about any express service options that might be offered too, if you’re wanting to move fast.

Make ARKCryo your go-to, for transporting frozen embryos

Whether you’re looking for safe and prompt delivery of frozen embryos, eggs or sperm samples to your doorstep or your clinic abroad, ARKCryo has that vital part of your family-building journey covered.

Connect with them today to find out more about their bespoke cryoshipping services, get a pricing breakdown, and get a 10% discount for your next order.

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