Just as women can elect to freeze their eggs for future use, sperm cryopreservation, or sperm freezing, is a way men can preserve their sperm and keep it stored for later use in artificial insemination or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Reasons to consider freezing sperm might be:
prior to taking medications that affect sperm production or quality
prior to undergoing treatment for cancer or other illnesses
prior to traveling to an area affected by Zika Virus
so that artificial insemination or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can be performed in the absence of the male partner
Sperm Freezing and Cancer
Sperm freezing is an attractive option for men who have been diagnosed with an illness that requires drugs or therapies such as chemotherapy that can damage sperm quality. In these cases, choosing to freeze your sperm before receiving medical treatment is very important.
Read more about Infertlity and Cancer.
What to Expect when Freezing Sperm
Dr Morgan will review the sperm freezing process with you at your initial consultation. Then a member of our staff will review your insurance benefits with you or provide you with financial guidance if your policy doesn't cover sperm cryopreservation.
You should abstain from ejaculation for at least 3 days, but no longer than 7 days prior to the day you drop off a semen sample at one of our locations. It must be collected in a sterile collection cup that can be picked up at any of our locations or at a pharmacy near your home.
The sample will be labeled and liquefied on a warming block that is maintained at 37°C. A freezing medium that allows the sperm to survive the freezing and storage process will be added to the vial. Each ejaculate can yield from one to six vials.
Vials containing your sperm will slowly be frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors, then placed in special containers where they are stored in the liquid nitrogen until they are needed.
The sample will be slowly thawed for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) when you are ready. There is no research that confirms how long frozen sperm can remain effective. However, sperm twenty years or older have been used successfully in pregnancies.