Just like egg freezing, sperm freezing nowadays is also not so uncommon. If a man wishes to freeze his sperm due to any reason, he can consult his doctor for it. The freezing of sperm occurs through the method of cryopreservation. Cryopreservation involves preserving the tissues at a very low temperature (-196°C) in liquid nitrogen. At such low temperatures, the cellular activities stop and the tissue remains unchanged. The person might want to store his sperm before going for a vasectomy or might want to donate it.
About Sperm Freezing
Before undergoing sperm freezing, the person needs to undergo a diagnosis of diseases like HIV. This is a necessary step to avoid any infection. Moreover, the person undergoing sperm freezing must give written consent along with how the sperm can be used. They can either preserve it only for themselves or donate them to the sperm banks. moreover, they also have to write for how long they wish to store their sperms in the bank.10 years is the standard storage time, however, it can expand up to 50 years. It depends upon the condition of the sperm as stated by the andrologists.
For this procedure, the person will be asked to give a fresh sample of semen to the andrologist. Then the doctors will send it for cryopreservation. The sample gets mixed with a suitable cryoprotectant. This will protect the sperm from any damage. Moreover, the samples will be separated into several straws making many containers. Thus, there will be chances of using it multiple times. In the last step, these sperms will remain stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196 °C.
Who qualifies for Sperm Freezing
There are many cases in which the person might want to save their sperm for future use. some of these conditions are as follows:
- If a man has prostate or testicular cancer, then the doctor might advise him to store his sperm. This is because, in cases of testicular cancer, they might have to remove the testicles during the treatment.
- If a man does not wants to become a parent now, but is sure that will want a child one day. Then they might preserve their sperm in the sperm banks. It is because the quality of sperm degenerates over time.
- If someone is undergoing a vasectomy and is not sure if in the future they want a baby or not, then they can preserve their sperm.
- People with hazardous jobs like in the military can store their sperm in case of chances of any accident.
- People who are regularly exposed to chemicals can store sperm. the chemicals can Detroit the sperm causing it to degenerate.
Why Sperm Freezing is conducted
Sperm freezing is a great way to save sperm for future use. moreover, it is done to donate it to someone who wishes to get pregnant using a donor.
Benefits of Sperm Freezing
There are several benefits of sperm freezing as follows:
- Even at a greater age, the person gets good-quality sperm to impregnate his partner.
- A single mother or a same-sex couple can get pregnant using sperm from a donor bank.
- Even after the removal of testicles due to diseases like cancer, the person has stored sperm to start a family in future.
Risks or Complications in Sperm Freezing
There are almost negligible risks in using stored sperm from the banks. however, one of the complications faced during the procedure is that the sperms might not survive the thawing and storing process.
Sperm Freezing is just like freezing the eggs or embryos in females. Several banks in India do such procedures. Usually, a person stores the sperm in case of any serious illness or for future planning. They can also donate them to some single woman or same-sex couple who wishes to get pregnant through donor sperm. The person has to undergo some diagnosis before proceeding with the freezing procedure. After successful examination, the sperms will be sent to labs for preservation in liquid nitrogen in multiple straws.
The sperm freezing procedure is highly successful. About 50% of the sperm survive the thawing process. However, if the quality of sperm is very good then this percentage will eventually increase.
Sperm freezing can be done at any time after being an adult till having good reproductive health. However, it is best suited to men under 40 years of age.
The sperm will be able to survive for approximately 72 hours in any given cup.
There shall be no difference in implantation or pregnancy rates on using either the frozen or fresh sperm samples in IVF.
Fish, walnuts, fruits, vegetables etc. tend to increase sperm count in males.