Sperm Cryopreservation or sperm freezing is a process that is done to analyze and then freeze and store sperms at temperatures far below zero so it can be used in the future.
Reasons for Sperm freezing
Sperm cryopreservation or sperm freezing’s main aim is to preserve fertility this can be useful in the following cases
- Male is being treated with medication that can affect fertility like chemo or radiation therapy and still hopes to start or expand his family in the future.
- Having low or Decreasing sperm count numbers over time; here your doctor could advice you to do sperm cryopreserving/sperm freezing several times so that if your sperm count ever reaches zero you would have preserved a good chance to still father children in the future.
- A couple undergoing Assisted Reproductive technology like IUI/IVF or ICSI could consider doing semen freezing in case the male partner travels or gets nervous on the day of the procedure and isn’t able to produce a sample for sperm cryopreservation (sperm freezing).
- Sperm cryopreservation/sperm freezing at Bedaya Hospital and signing off a consent form that allows the female partner to use the male partners frozen sperm in his absence is a requirement for patients that will undergo IVF or ICSI so that no unforeseen circumstances could stop the female partner from going through with her IVF/ICSI cycle on the day of ovum pickup. Getting to the point of egg collection has usually come with her taking a lot of expensive hormonal injections and the stress that comes with it.
- Some medics advice to do sperm freezing between the ages of 35-45 due to its quality decreasing in most men after the age of 45.
The steps of the semen freezing process
- According to the reason you have been referred to do sperm cryopreservation/Sperm freezing by your andrologist you will be given a paper at our reception that states you agree that Bedaya hospital freezes your sperm. This consent form is sufficient if you are doing sperm freezing to preserve your fertility due to treatments or procedures that could affect your fertility, worries of declining sperm count, declining sperm quality or just because you want to do sperm freezing whilst in the years that are best for sperm production. If you are doing sperm freezing so your partner can undergo an ART procedure in your absence you will also be asked to record a video that states, you have done sperm freezing and allow your partner to use it in your absence and under which circumstances. Bedaya Hospital is required to do this for legal purposes. Your file will also be given a specific barcode that will be added to all your papers, test samples and results.
- You are referred to one of our sperm collecting rooms, given a sterile cup with your specific barcode, and finally given some privacy to collect your sample. Most of our samples are collected through masturbation if for any reason this is not possible you are referred to the andrologist that can recommend a stimulant or booking an OR appointment to obtain sperm through a Fine needle Aspiration (FNA) or a Testicular Biopsy.
- When done one of our lab technicians stops by you, makes sure all required administrational procedures are correct and takes your file and sample to the lab.
- At the lab one of our embryologists specialized in doing semen analysis and processing for semen freezing purposes is given the sample. The sample is analyzed under the microscope by an expert; sperm count, sperm motility and percentage of abnormal forms together with the volume of the received semen, its color, odor, and PH is all put in a report.
- A special solution is added to the sperms, and they are put in special-colored vials with your specific barcode that are slowly put into liquid nitrogen tanks. Sperm freezing temperatures are always kept at a constant well monitored -196 degrees Celsius until you are ready to thaw some for usage. The information about the sperm freezing sample and its location is also added to the report which is added to the patient’s file
- and a copy can be picked up 24 hours after the sample collection.
Please feel free to call our customer service for any additional information about sperm cryopreservation (sperm freezing).
How long can you freeze sperm?
Sperm cryopreservation samples can be stored indefinitely and Bedaya Hospital has had healthy pregnancies occur with frozen sperm that had been stored over fifteen years ago.
Is using a fresh sperm sample better than frozen sperm?
Sperm cryopreservation (sperm freezing) could affect the quality of the sperm cells when frozen and thawed in the hands of lab staff that do not have the expertise to do this properly or in an uncalibrated or unmonitored freezing tank. Temperatures should always be kept at -196 Celsius. Bedaya Hospital is well known for its highly experienced lab staff, extraordinary lab facilities and impeccable control and calibration methods. Under optimal staff and sperm freezing facilities, research has shown that the use of frozen sperm after thawing or fresh sperm give the same chances in pregnancy results for IUI. The fertilization, cleavage, implantation, and pregnancy rates are also the same for IVF and ICSI cycles using frozen semen compared to those where a fresh semen sample was used.