What is Sperm Cryopreservation?
Sperm cryopreservation, commonly referred to as sperm freezing is a procedure to preserve sperm cells. Cryopreservation can be used for sperm donation, or as a means of preserving fertility for men undergoing vasectomy or treatments that may compromise their fertility, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cryopreservation can also be performed on eggs, more commonly known as egg freezing.
Sperm Cryopreservation Process
Step 1: Physical Examination
Patients will be screened for infection such as HIV, hepatitis or syphilis.
Step 2: Sperm Sample
The male patient will provide a semen sample through masturbation. If the patient does not produce sperm in the ejaculation, a sperm sample may be taken from his testes involving MESA, a surgical retrieval.
Step 3: Freezing and Storage
The collected sperm samples are separated into multiple containers. Skilled lab technicians will use cryoprotectant, a substance used to protect the sperm from freezing damage. The frozen vials of sperm are stored in the lab until the patient is ready to use them again.
Who should consider Sperm Cryopreservation?
- Men with advancing age
- Men with poor sperm quality
- Men with low sperm quantity
- Males who plan on seeking cancer treatment
- Pre-vasectomy patients