Sperm Freezing procedure
Sperm freezing and banking (also known as storage) is a form of fertility preservation available to keep your options open for having a child in the future. Sperms can stay frozen for a long period but, under current ART guidelines, the standard storage is 10 years. This option can offer you a way to preserve your sperm if you are facing medical or surgical treatments that could compromise your future fertility. This semen can be thawed later which can be used in various assisted reproductive treatments to give pregnancy.
Advised in whom
It is advised to men who are undergoing:
- Initial semen analysis is done to check the count, motility, and morphology.
- Blood tests like HIV and hepatitis B and C etc are done before freezing.
- Sexual abstinence of 2-5 is advised.
- Written informed consent is taken from you to freeze your semen.
- You are requested to produce a fresh sample of semen on the day of freezing.
- The sample is then tested for sperm count and motility.
- The semen is washed. The cryoprotectant is added to the semen. It controls the damage to the cell in freezing and thawing.
- The sample semen is then stored in the vials.
- The vials are named with your full name and date of freezing which is placed in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of ‒196°C.
- Helps in retaining the chances of fathering a child whenever needed.
- The babies born with frozen sperms are as healthy as babies born with freshly ejaculated sperms.
- Men with certain conditions in which sperms have been extracted through surgical means such as PESA, TESA, TESE, may also consider sperm freezing for future use.
Dis-advantages / risks:
- Some of the sperms cannot withstand the freeze-thaw process leading to decreased sperm count in the thawed samples.