Semen Freezing

Semen freezing is a procedure to freeze and store sperms in an IVF lab. Stored sperms can be frozen for an indefinite time after cryopreservation. Semen freezing is a boon for cancer patients as chemoradiation can lead to complete sterility in healthy males. Before any cancer treatment males can store their sperms and utilize them once the cancer treatment is over. Other cases where semen cryopreservation helps is in ART cases where husbands are travelling and it is difficult to time the wife’s ovulation. It is also a boon for many patients where surgical extraction of sperms from the testis is done ( TESE/ Micro TESE) and the surplus sperms can be used for future fertility purposes. In our IVF labs we routinely freeze one semen sample prior to starting an IVF cycle. This is done as a backup. On the day of the oocyte retrieval, if the husband fails to produce a semen sample due to mental pressure, one can use the frozen sample, with equally good results.

Step-by-Step Procedure of Semen Freezing

1
Patient is tested for viral markers.
2
Consent will be taken
3
Fresh sample by masturbation is collected
4
The sample is mixed with cryoprotectant to protect the sperms from damage during freezing.
5
The samples are divided into straws for storage, cooled down and plunged in liquid nitrogen for storage.

Common Questions

If you could not find an answer to your query, please contact us.

Semen freezing is done in patients,
a. Who have conditions or on medications affecting the fertility
b. Difficulty in producing a sample on the same day of the partner’s fertility treatment.
c. If you are travelling or unavailable on the day of partners treatment.
If the semen sample is stored under proper conditions and if they are thawed using appropriate technique then the quality of sperm is not hampered.
Yes , by using a special technique and device called as vitrification Device (VD), single sperm can be frozen separately.
Yes it is very much safe to use the frozen sperms. Many studies have proved that frozen sperms are equally effective as fresh sperms while doing the ICSI procedure.