What it is?
Sperm freezing This process is being used since the 1960s. It is a very common and effective method of preserving male fertility in patients who are at risk or for donation to another couple.
Who can do it?
- Males who have low sperm count, obstructive azoospermia or the quality is deteriorating.
- Men who are undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatments for malignant diseases or vasectomy, etc.
- If you are undergoing vasectomy and want the sperm to be available if you change your mind in the future.
How we do it?
Primary screening: A fresh sample of semen will be tested for any abnormalities or disease.
Sample collection: Usually the sample is provided by masturbation. The number of samples frozen will depend on your age, semen quality, partner’s fertility status, etc.
Freezing the semen: The sample will be mixed with a “cryoprotectant”, which will protect the sperm from formation of ice crystals. The sample will be divided and stored in a number of containers. This is done so that not all the sperm needs to be thawed and used at the same time. You can use different containers for multiple treatments. The containers are then cooled and stored in liquid nitrogen at
Generally, it is recommended to store sperm for 10 years, but the viability of the sperm can remain forever. Your doctor will guide you based on your needs.
How many sperm samples should be frozen?
The number of semen samples that should be frozen depends on the number of times the person plan to use them, semen quality, technology used. Usually, a minimum of two semen samples are frozen.
There is no risk to the patients.
After the freezing and thawing process, some sperms may not be able to maintain their viability and fertility. The percentage of sample that does not survive varies from person to person.
In addition to the decision regarding the storage of semen, you will also need to decide what will happen to the stored sperm in the event of your death or in case you are no longer able to make decisions i.e. mental decapitation.
The success rate of IVF is the same whether frozen or ‘fresh’ semen is used. Remember that sperm freezing does not guarantee successful pregnancy. However, it preserves your chance to produce pregnancy.