Sperm freezing & sperm storage

Freeze your sperm with CARE Fertility's Sperm Vitrification treatment

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. Sperm freezing and sperm storage 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 storage can last.

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 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.

Sperm freezing and sperm storage - 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 and sperm storage?

Fertility treatments using frozen sperm are just as successful as those using fresh sperm. Our success rates are consistently high - CARE Fertility are highly experienced in the vitrification freezing process. 

What are the risks of sperm freezing?

There are no risks associated with the process of collecting sperm, as it is a non-invasive procedure. 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?

The cost of freezing your sperm with CARE Fertility is £115, with an annual storage charge of £350.*

*please note the cost of freezing sperm at CARE Bath and CARE Woking is £510 including the first year of storage.

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 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.

What about the quality of sperm?

To assess sperm quality after freezing, we may thaw a small sample after a freeze to check on the quality of frozen sperm. This 'trial thaw' enables us to assess survival and provide advice on the best treatment using the sperm. Depending on the sperm quality, our recommendation may be to store a number of samples over a period of time to assure we have adequate samples for potential future use. 

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 I do not use my frozen sperm?

If you do not use all of your frozen sperm, you may discard or donate it.

At CARE, 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.

Related fertility treatment options

  • Surgical sperm recovery - for some sperm issues, surgical sperm retrieval is a successful way to collect sperm.
  • MERC (multiple ejaculation resuspension and centrifugation) - when our patients have a low sperm count or reportedly no sperm, we can try to find sperm in multiple semen samples to use in fertility treatment and avoid the need for surgery
  • ICSI - can significantly improve fertilisation if there is a low quality sperm issue
  • Male diagnostic tests - male fertility problems can be due to a number of issues and diagnosis usually involves a general physical examination and semen analysis.
  • Fertility testing - by testing your semen, screening for infection, and examining your lifestyle, our male fertility tests for men allow us to assess your individual situation and, if needed, decide on the best way to help.
  • Sperm donation - there are lots of reasons why our patients might need donor sperm, but with your help they might still have a chance of starting their family
To find out more about sperm freezing, talk to your local clinic or contact us