What Is Sperm Freezing?
Sperm freezing (cryopreservation) stores sperm samples at very low temperatures so they can be used in the future.
Many individuals and couples choose to have sperm frozen for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, sperm freezing (cryopreservation) allows for fertility preservation. Frozen sperm can be stored indefinitely without degrading in quality. Moreover, frozen sperm works as well as fresh sperm for procedures such as IVF.
Reasons for Sperm Freezing
There are many reasons someone can decide to have sperm frozen:
Couples can choose to have sperm frozen before IVF, especially if they are travelling to the fertility center
Before radiation therapy or chemotherapy
Before a vasectomy
Low sperm count
Once the semen sample is collected, the freezing process starts:
The sample is analyzed for suitability for cryopreservation and to determine how many individual straws may be obtained from a single ejaculate. Men with low count may have to provide more than one sample.
The semen sample is diluted with cryoprotectant solution. The sample is then divided up and put into straws. Both ends of the straws are heat-sealed. The sample is placed in a freezer and cooled to -150°C. Once the samples are at -150°C, they are transferred to a liquid nitrogen tank. Here, they are stored at -196°C until they are needed.