Sperm Freezing, or semen cryopreservation, is the process of freezing sperm for future use. Men may choose to freeze sperm for medical reasons to preserve their fertility prior to undergoing cancer treatment or other procedures that might compromise their fertility.
The Male “Biological Clock”
Men are not immune to the effects of reproductive aging. As men age, sperm quality decreases, which can lengthen the amount of time it takes for their female partner to become pregnant, and can also increase the risk of miscarriage, and health problems in offspring. Men may freeze sperm to proactively preserve their current fertility levels, which can make it easier for their partner conceive in the future and lead to healthier offspring.
The Sperm Freezing Process
Sperm Freezing involves freezing a patient’s sperm for later use in either insemination or in vitro fertilization, or simply to preserve male fertility. A male may choose to store his sperm because of a particular medical condition or simply to have the option to start a family any time in the future. A sample of semen is obtained via masturbation or collection in a specialized collection device. It is then analyzed by a licensed andrology lab, and cryopreserved (frozen) using specialized media and solutions. The vials are frozen and then immersed in liquid nitrogen and stored in cryogenic tanks at a temperature of -196°C (-321°F). The liquid nitrogen is independent of any source of power. Cryogenic tanks are checked daily and replenished as needed. Viable sperm are frozen and stored on-site at Delhi IVF Clinic - India Eastside location.
Common Reasons for Sperm Freezing
- Persevering sperm prior to sterilization or genetic damage that may result from cancer treatments (oncofertility)
- For back-up should a male partner be unable to collect or be out of town on the day that sperm are needed
- Prior to a vasectomy