Sperm freezing and storage
Egg/sperm freezing Sperm freezing and storage is the procedure whereby sperm cells are frozen to preserve them for future use. Scientists freeze the sperm using a special media then keep sperm in liquid nitrogen at minus 196C, and it can be stored for many years while maintaining a reasonable quality.
Why would I want to freeze sperm?
Unfortunately, life is unpredictable. There are many situations that could interfere with your future fertility. These may include:
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Certain types of pelvic or testicular surgery.
- High-risk occupations or sports.
- Diabetes, which may cause erectile difficulty.
- Being away from home on day of assisted reproductive treatment.
- Anxiety on the day of treatment (back up storage)
Please ask your GP or specialist for a referral form to see one of our specialists at City Fertility.
It is preferable if, before your first appointment, blood tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV are arranged. We routinely screen for these infections because they may be transmitted through the semen, and to minimise the risk of contamination during storage.
Once you receive your blood test results, please contact us to arrange, to book a time, to produce the sample at our clinic. At this you will need to sign a consent form for the freezing and storage of sperm, which consents for up to 10 years at a time.
How many sperm samples do I freeze?
Everyone’s situation is different. Most men freeze between two and five samples. Some choose to freeze many more. Often, the time interval before surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy will be the deciding factor. We recommend abstaining from intercourse and ejaculation for at least two days but not longer than five days before the first sample, and for about two days between the samples.
Scientifically, there is no limit to the length of time that sperm can be stored in a frozen state. However, the standard storage period for sperm is 10 years. This term can be exceeded only in certain circumstances. Our Fertility experts will explain whether you can do this, and for how long you may be able to store your sperm. The amount of time in storage does not influence the success rate.
If you decide to freeze and store your sperm with us, you must update us about any address changes. You can provide written consent to discard your samples at anytime.