Sperm freezing & sperm storage
Sperm freezing allows men to preserve their fertility until you are ready to start or grow your family. Here we detail the reasons and process and why you would consider freezing your sperm.
Why you should freeze and store your sperm
You should freeze your sperm to conserve it in case of infertility or if you want to donate to someone else. Here are some of the most common reasons why people freeze their sperm:
- You are about to undergo vasectomy.
- Before medical treatments such as chemotherapy which may affect fertility and sperm quality. Men choose to freeze their sperm prior to starting treatment.
- You are a sperm donor.
- You have a medical condition that may result in infertility later in life.
- If you have difficulty producing a sample of the day of treatment, and you and your partner are undergoing IVF.
- You have a low sperm count, and you may or may not be undergoing ICSI treatment.
- During a surgical sperm recovery. If you are having a recovery treatment, we will aim to freeze some sperm for you.
- You are working or travelling abroad and or might be at risk of contracting an infection that could affect your sperm.
The Process of Sperm Freezing
- How long your sperm can be stored for.
- What should happen to your sperm if something were to happen to you.
- Whether sperm will be used for your own treatment or for someone else’s e.g. if donating.
- Any other conditions for the use of your sperm.
- You will be screened for infectious diseases including HIV, HLTV and Hepatitis B/C.
- You need to provide written consent for your sperm to be stored.
- You produce the sperm sample at the clinic.
- Your sperm is frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen in small batches, using a special solution that will protect it during the transfer to storage.
How successful is sperm freezing?
What are the risks of sperm freezing?
How long can sperm be stored for?
What happens if I don't use my frozen sperm?
- Discarding your sperm– involves removal of sperm from storage and allowing it to perish.
- Donation for training purposes - Care occasionally needs to use sperm samples for in-house training purposes, for example when introducing new procedures or when training new staff in the standard practices we use. Any training records would be reversibly anonymised by using only your clinic ID number.
- Donation to research – if your clinic participates in research they can provide details of the research projects involved.