Overview

Preserving & Storing Sperm

Preserving & Storing Sperm

Sperm cryopreservation or sperm freezing is a way for men to preserve their sperm and store it in a bank so it can be used in the future. Many medical treatments can damage sperm quality, including several types of cancer treatment like chemotherapy and radiation. Some men choose to freeze their sperm before getting medical treatment.

Using Frozen Sperm in Fertility Treatments

Although researchers don’t know exactly how long frozen sperm can remain effective, sperm that’s twenty years or older has been used successfully in pregnancies. Sperm freezing allows this sperm to be used in the future for fertility treatments, such as:

Sperm Freezing: What to Expect

Your doctor will refer you to the andrology lab for sperm cryopreservation. During your first visit, you can ask questions and clarify anything you might want to know about sperm freezing before your sperm is collected and you sign the semen storage agreement. You may have questions about billing or storing your sperm sample long-term.

You are always welcome to call with additional questions or clarifications.

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How Is Sperm Frozen?

After your semen sample has been collected, we will place it on a warming block that’s 37°C so the sperm can turn into liquid. At this time, we will mix your semen sample in a 1:1 ratio with a freezing medium. This allows your 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, they are placed in special containers where they are stored in the liquid nitrogen until they are needed.

Each ejaculate can yield between one to six vials. 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 your semen sample in a storage facility.

Test Thaw Procedure

The survival rate of sperm after cryopreservation can vary widely. Depending on the amount of sperm you have put into a bank, we recommend that one of the cryovials be thawed so we can examine how successfully your semen can be stored and thawed.