Freezing sperm

Sperm Freezing & Storage. Sperm Vitrification.

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.

At CARE Fertility we offer sperm Freezing.  It is a simple way of preserving your sperm until you wish to start a family. Like egg freezing and embryo freezing, freezing sperm allows men to save their sperm if they need to delay conception. For example if they are undergoing a medical procedure that may affect their fertility. However unlike eggs, sperm can be frozen and stored indefinitely, there are no limits placed on how long sperm can remain frozen.

There are lots of reasons why you might need to freeze your sperm. It’s a highly effective, simple way of preserving your fertility until you’re ready to start or grow your family. Sperm can be frozen and stored for as long as your storage consent allows.

Why do I need to freeze my sperm?

There are many reasons why a man might need to freeze sperm. Some of the most common are:

  • 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.

Sperm freezing - the process

Generally, we will freeze sperm that you have provided us with in a semen sample, but we can also collect it surgically if required.  Before you begin the procedure, it will be explained in more detail by your medical specialist.

  1. You will be screened for infectious diseases including HIV, HLTV and Hepatitis B/C.
  2. You need to provide written consent for your sperm to be stored.
  3. You produce the sperm sample at the clinic.
  4. 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?

Provided you use a clinic experienced in the vitrification process, treatments using frozen sperm have almost identical success rates to those using non-frozen sperm. CARE Fertility are the most experienced fertility group in the UK for the process of sperm freezing.

What are the risks of sperm freezing?

As a non-invasive procedure, there are no risks associated with the actual process of collecting sperm. There are no risks to recipients of embryos created with frozen sperm, or to babies crated from those embryos.

How much does sperm freezing cost?

At CARE Fertility your sperm freeze procedure and first year of storage cost £375*.

*please note at CARE London the cost is £450.

If you require other treatments, such as IVF or ICSI for example or would like to continue storing your sperm, this will be charged separately. You can view our full cost of CARE Fertility IVF treatments here.

How long can my sperm be frozen for?

Your sperm can be frozen and stored for as long as your storage consent allows. That is usually up to 10 years but may be longer depending on why you are freezing sperm. The HFEA regulates storage and dictates that you consent to the storage of your sperm and its future use, so your consent can be changed or withdrawn whenever you like.

How much control do I have over what happens to my frozen sperm?

Before your sperm is frozen, you must complete statutory consent forms which cover the following:

  • 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.

What if it doesn't work?

At CARE we understand that going through fertility treatment can be an anxious time. If you need any kind of emotional support during treatment, remember that we offer free counselling to all of our patients. To find out more, read here.

What if I do not use my sperm or I have some left over?

If you no longer wish to have treatment but still have sperm in storage, there are a few options you may wish to consider:

  • 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 CARE clinic participates in research they can provide details of the research projects involved.
To find out more about sperm freezing, talk to your local clinic or contact us