Sperm Freezing

Sperm freezing is a great way to preserve a man’s fertility and is resorted to by a couple if they want to have a baby in the future but are not currently ready. It is also used by sperm donors to store their sperm so that they can be used by someone else to have a baby.

Let’s understand the whole process of sperm freezing in detail.

What is sperm freezing?

Sperm freezing, also known as sperm banking or cryopreservation, is a process by which men can freeze their sperm to conceive a baby in the future or donate it to someone else.

The sperm is stored in a sperm bank, which is part of a fertility clinic. If you wish to use your sperm in the future, it needs to be frozen. The law permits you to store your sperm for use in treatment for a standard period of 10 years, which can be extended to a maximum of 55 years. However, you need to renew your consent every 10 years.

Who can go for sperm freezing?

 Usually, people with the following conditions opt for sperm freezing.

  • People with cancer

If someone is diagnosed with testicular or prostate cancer, he might have to undergo surgery to remove one or both testicles. Cancer treatments can also lead to a decline in sperm quality. Thus, such people should explore the option of sperm freezing before undergoing cancer treatment.

  • Older people

As you age, the semen quality decreases because of a decline in sperm concentration and mobility. The decline in seminal volume can lead to infertility in men. Therefore, it is always better to preserve your sperm rather than risk having a baby in the future.

  • People with hazardous jobs

People who work in dangerous jobs like the armed forces or hazardous chemical plants are at risk of injury or death. They can opt for freezing their sperm, just in case any accident makes them infertile.

  • People undergoing surgeries or medical procedures

If someone wants to get a vasectomy, he can opt to bank his sperm, just in case he changes his mind about having children at a later stage in life.

Similarly, some medical procedures can affect ejaculation. Doctors often recommend sperm banking before such procedures are performed, for example,

  • People with deteriorating sperm quality or a low sperm count
  • People undergoing in vitro fertilization or other fertility treatments
  • Males transitioning to a female might want to freeze eggs before starting hormone therapy or reconstructive surgery

How does sperm freezing work?

The process starts by testing you for any sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Then your written informed consent is taken to store your sperm. You will be asked to deposit your sample in a sterile cup at the fertility clinic. Samples are analysed to determine how many such samples will be required, depending on the sperm quality. This sample of sperm is then mixed with a cryoprotectant to protect the sperm cells from damage. The sample is kept in multiple vials, cooled slowly and immersed in liquid nitrogen.

If for some reason you’re unable to ejaculate, the surgical retrieval of sperm is also possible. In such a scenario, a healthcare practitioner will remove sperm directly from the testicle.

How effective is sperm freezing?

Sperm freezing is highly effective in preserving a man’s fertility. It has been in operation since 1953. Even though some sperm don’t survive the freezing process, the high sperm count, which ranges between 15 million to 200 million sperm per millilitre of semen, increases the chances of conceiving a baby.

A frozen sperm has the same fertilization capacity as a fresh sperm. Contrary to a common misconception, there is no proof that frozen sperm increases health risks in a baby. Thus, the process of sperm freezing is very safe with no known risks to patients or children from frozen sperm.

What happens when you decide to use your frozen sperm?

If you decide to have a baby, your frozen sperm will be thawed. Then it will be used exactly in the same manner as fresh sperm. You will be required to undergo any of the suitable fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). If the sperm is not of optimum quality, you can go for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Final Thoughts

Sperm freezing is a highly effective process that allows you to have a biological child at a time you wish for it. The process is carried out safely at Apollo Fertility clinics. Book an appointment today to talk with a fertility expert.

1. How effective is sperm freezing?

Sperm freezing is highly effective in conceiving a healthy baby. The fertilization capacity of a frozen sperm is the same as that of a fresh sperm.

2. Can frozen sperm cause birth defects?

Sperm freezing is a very simple and safe technique. There is no evidence of it causing any birth defects.

3. Why do people opt for sperm freezing?

Sperm freezing can preserve a man’s fertility. It is usually done by cancer patients, people with hazardous jobs or older people who might lose their fertility in the future.

4. How long frozen sperm can last?

Frozen sperm can last for as long as 50 years and remain of the same age when they were frozen.

Book an Appointment




Ovulation Calculator