Freezing sperm

Freeze your sperm to use in later treatments. 

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. 

Could freezing my sperm be right for me?

Sperm freezing is available to anyone looking to preserve their fertility, for whatever reason. You might have your sperm frozen:

  • Before IVF or ICSI treatment if sperm numbers are low
  • Before IVF or ICSI if you sometimes have difficulty producing a sample, or you won’t be available on the day of egg collection
  • Before medical treatment that might affect sperm count or quality
  • Before vasectomy, as a back up in case circumstances change
  • During a surgical sperm recovery - if you're having a surgical sperm recovery, we'll aim to freeze some sperm for you
  • If you’re a sperm donor
  • If you’re working or traveling abroad and/or might be at risk of contracting an infection that can affect your sperm.
Sperm can be frozen and stored for as long as your storage consent allows.

What does sperm freezing involve?

Generally, we’ll freeze sperm that you’ve provided us with in a semen sample, but we can also collect it surgically.

If you want to freeze your sperm we’ll test you for HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. Once collected, we’ll analyse the sample, divide it into small batches and transfer it into vials or straws containing a special solution, which will protect it during the freezing process and during storage. We then freeze and store the sperm in liquid nitrogen.

Sperm can be frozen and stored for as long as your storage consent allows. That’s usually up to ten years, but may be longer depending on why you’re freezing your 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and dictates that you consent to the storage of your sperm and its future use, so your consent can be changed or withdrawn whenever you like.