How Long Can Sperm Be Stored?

There’s no limit to how long sperm can be stored. The important thing is that sperm is stored correctly inside liquid nitrogen.

How Is Semen Stored?

Semen is stored in cryovials in liquid nitrogen.

Is Freezing Harmful to the Sperm?

A percentage of the sperm will not survive during the freezing process. The survival rate for sperm is very different for each individual.

What Is the Normal Volume of an Ejaculate?

1.5 to 5 milliliters (1.5–5cc)

How Many Samples Should I Freeze?

We recommend freezing a minimum of two samples for storage before you have surgery and/or therapy. However, it’s your choice for how many samples you will freeze.

During your initial consultation, you should discuss your future goals and make a plan based on any medical treatments you’re having and what you will need in the future, like how many children you hope to have. The number of samples needed for storage is different for each person. How many samples you may need in the future will also depend on the quality of your sperm after it’s thawed.

How Long Should I Wait to Ejaculate Between Collections?

Before you come into our office to give sperm, we will ask you not to ejaculate for two to five days beforehand. Some men may not need to wait that long.

What Is the Procedure for Using Frozen Sperm?

A few weeks before you think you’ll need the samples, please contact our andrology lab so we can bring your samples out of long-term storage. If you plan to use the samples for artificial insemination (IUI), we will need to have a physician's requisition order on file. Once you know the date that you’ll need your sample to be prepared, please call and set an appointment to pick up your sample.

Many doctors require patients to get additional tests like blood tests or a current pap and pelvic exam before they will perform an insemination. Be sure to talk with your doctor in advance to avoid any delays.

How Do I Terminate My Storage Agreement?

You (or, in the event of your death, your legally authorized representative) may terminate a storage agreement at any time by requesting and completing a final disposition form. Please contact our andrology lab to get a copy of this form. You will need to complete the form and have a witness when you sign it.

Please note: An andrology employee or a notary public must witness you signing this form. The original written notice must be received and acknowledged by University of Utah Health before the agreement is terminated.

How Can I Guarantee That I Will Become Pregnant Using the Samples?

Even if you freeze many samples of your sperm, it’s impossible to guarantee that your partner will get pregnant. We advise you to carefully consult with both an andrologist (a doctor who studies male reproductive organs) and an infertility specialist before using any of your samples for IUI or IVF.

What If My Semen Quality Is Poor or My Semen Concentration Is Very Low?

Many cryopreserved samples may not be preserved well enough for IUI (also called artificial insemination). However, doctors regularly perform IVF using semen samples that are very poor quality or have low concentration. We will freeze any sperm, even it is poor-quality or has a low concentration.

We will contact your doctor or our lab director if you’re concerned about the quality of your sperm when it’s being processed.

How Can I Be Sure My Semen Sample Isn’t Contaminated With Another Sample or Mislabeled?

The container we use to collect your sample is labeled with your name. We will also ask you to read the label on the container and make sure it has your name before you deposit sperm. and verified by the patient prior to collection. Once we receive your sample, we handle it with extreme care. All materials we use during the process are labeled with your name, the date, and a visit number that’s unique to you and your sample.

Each sample is processed in its own workstation away from other areas. All the tools and solutions we use to prepare your sample for cryopreservation are sterile (clean) and are only used once. Certified andrology technicians will make sure there’s no confusion when handling your semen samples.

What If I Move Out of the Utah Area?

We can ship semen samples to another clinic or storage facility where you’re moving. You will need to fill out some paperwork so we can make sure your samples are secure and properly handled.

Even if you move out of Utah, we can still store your samples at University of Utah Health. We just need your billing address and permanent mailing address.

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Semen Storage Agreement

If you decide to freeze your sperm, you will need to sign a semen storage agreement consent form for short and/or long term storage at the time of collection. You must pay for the current storage period in advance. Payment is based in part on the number of vials you choose to store.

Please see the fee schedule and policy for current prices for sperm freezing, storage, and preparation. You (or, in the event of your death, your legally authorized representative) may terminate a storage agreement at any time by requesting and completing an authorization for destruction form. You can get this form from our andrology lab.

Please note: The original signature must be witnessed by either an andrology lab employee or a notary public. The original written notice must be received and acknowledged by University of Utah Health before the agreement is terminated.

If you have any questions about payments or updating the address on your account, please contact Medical Billing at 801-238-6618 or toll free at 886-778-5985.