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 You are here : Home / Fertility / Male Fertility Treatments / Frozen Sperm

Frozen Sperm

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What is sperm freezing?

Sperm freezing, also known as "sperm banking" is a way of cryopreserving donated sperm for future use in reproduction by means of IVF.


Who can benefit from sperm freezing?

Couples may wish to freeze sperm for their own reproductive purposes, as a back-up in case of future change in the quality of the sperm.

A man receiving medical treatment or undergoing a surgical operation that will or may affect his fertility might consider cryopreserving his sperm for future use.

Men who will have their sperm removed surgically by undergoing PESA, MESA or TESE procedures can have their sperm cryopreserved.

Frozen sperm must be stored in extremely cold temperatures (-196 F), but in order to ensure that the fewest possible sperm are damaged, the freezing must be gradual.

Generally, the following procedure is followed : -
  1. If the sperm hasn't been previously tested, a comprehensive semen analysis should be performed on the first specimen in order to provide a complete picture of the sperm quantity and quality. Make sure that the sperm bank conducts a thorough semen analysis before banking. This will give you significant information on the quality of the sperm.
  2. Each subsequent specimen is analyzed prior to freezing to assess total number of moving sperm.
  3. Immediately after the specimen is analyzed, it is divided into smaller batches and transferred into vials for freezing. A special compound (a cryoprotectant) is added to aid the freezing process.
  4. The test tubes are gradually frozen in liquid nitrogen vapor. After 30-60 minutes they are transferred into liquid nitrogen tanks for permanent frozen storage.
  5. After a minimum of 48 hours have elapsed from the time of the initial freezing, an initial "test sample" is thawed and tested again to ascertain from each specimen how well the sperm survived the freezing. After the banking is complete, the results may be sent to you, as well as possibly discussed with your primary care physician. This information will be important to determine which specimen vials to thaw for an insemination.


Why Sperm Freezing ?

When you are going for Cancer Therapies : - Cancer therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can cause permanent sterility and infertility. Having your sperm frozen can preserve future fertility.

When you are considering a Vasectomy : -Sperm cryopreservation can preserve fertility and prevent the need for reversal surgery if personal circumstances change.

When involved in the process of ART like IUI, IVF, ICSI, GIFT : -Sperm is to be stored for use with IUI, IVF, ICSI, GIFT, and other similar procedures so that it is available at a critical time.

When you are working in some hazardous environment : - High risk professions with exposure to chemicals, radiation, extreme heat, etc. can cause sterility in men, so one can freeze their sperm.

When facing Ejaculatory dysfunction : -It is thought that sperm number and quality decreases over time when ejaculation doesn't occur. Therefore, in cases where men can't ejaculate, such as with spinal cord injury, preserving sperm as early as possible may increase their fertility chances.

When Low sperm counts problem is with you : - Higher-quality sperm samples can be frozen for later use with IVF and ICSI. Specimens can be pooled to increase the likelihood of achieving pregnancy.

When male partner are going to be absent : -Sperm freezing enables the female partner to continue with her reproductive schedule.


Semen Analysis

Once semen is collected, semen samples are analysed for volume, viscosity and pH levels, and microscopically evaluated to determine motility, sperm count, morphology and other important factors.


Semen Cryopreservation

Cryoprotectant is added to the semen to control sperm damage caused by freezing. The specimen is then divided into individual cryo-vials, placed into liquid nitrogen vapor for 30 minutes, and then plunged into liquid nitrogen. At a temperature of -196C all metabolic activity is halted. Semen can thus be preserved for many years.



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