Sperm cryopreservation or sperm freezing is a method for men to preserve their sperm and store it for future use. Many medical treatments, including several cancer therapies, can damage sperm quality, which is why you may choose to freeze your sperm before receiving the medical treatment.
Although there is no information about how long frozen sperm can remain effective, sperm twenty years or older have been used successfully in pregnancies. Sperm freezing allows this sperm to be used in the future in fertility treatments, such as intra uterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Is sperm freezing and storage for me?
Storing your sperm may enable you to use them for treatment in the future. You may want to consider freezing your sperm if:
- you have a condition, or are facing medical treatment for a condition, that may affect your fertility
- you are about to have a vasectomy
- you have a low sperm count or the quality of your sperm is deteriorating
- you have difficulty producing a sample on the day of fertility treatment
- you are at risk of injury
How Cryopreservation Is Performed
After a semen sample has been collected, the semen sample is mixed in a 1:1 ratio with a freezing medium that allows the sperm to survive the freezing and storage process.
Frozen in Liquid Nitrogen
Semen samples are slowly frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors. Once the samples have been frozen in the liquid nitrogen vapors, they are placed in special containers where they are stored in the liquid nitrogen until they are needed. Each vial of a patient’s semen sample is labeled with the patient’s name, the date, and a unique number recorded on the side. This information will be used to catalog the semen sample into the storage facility.