Sperm freezing as a part of IVF, ICSI treatment
Sperm storage is provided as back up for your infertility treatment at Beloved Fertility Center. By creating back up sperm, the chance to have a problem of sperm collection on egg pick up day is low. Wherever possible, a fresh semen sample would be used on the day of your infertility treatment.
How are the samples produced and stored?
Semen samples are produced here in a private room at Beloved Fertility Center, by masturbation. The nurse co-ordinator will give you a sterile container for sperm collection. The container are carefully labelled with your name, date of birth and reference number, tag ID of your electronic witness and are witnessed by a second member of staff, who also verifies the details. Freezing takes place as soon as possible after the sample is given and washed.
What if something goes wrong with storage?
Whilst we do everything possible to ensure the safety of your samples, we cannot guarantee against all eventualities. For example; in the event of a strike or civil disturbance interrupting the supply of liquid nitrogen, or in the event of equipment failure, the effect on your samples could be detrimental.
How are these samples used?
These samples are stored only as a back up for infertility treatment. A fresh semen sample is preferable for infertility treatment and you will be expected to produce a fresh semen sample on the day of infertility treatment.
What are the prospects of using frozen sperm?
The success of using samples depends on the quality and quantity of the sperm which was stored. Men who have been very ill systemically, for example, with persistent fever, weight loss, loss of appetite etc, generally have very poor sperm samples and sometimes may have even ‘switched off’ their sperm production completely. Therefore the quality of sperm samples obtained is variable between patients and depends on individual circumstances.
The samples are diluted with a preservative when they are frozen to protect the sperm against damage during the freezing process. However this does not guarantee the sample will survive the freeze-thaw process, and even if it does, there is usually a reduction in the motility (movement) of the sperm.
As previously stated the chances of success in achieving a pregnancy depend on many factors including the method chosen for their use. If sufficient numbers of sperm of adequate quality have been frozen then we would expect you to have a reasonable chance of achieving a pregnancy, but this cannot be guaranteed.
How many sperm samples do I need to freeze?
Everyone’s situation is different. Most men freeze between two and five samples. Some choose to freeze many more. 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.Sperm freezing and storage is the procedure whereby sperm cells are frozen to preserve them for future use. Sperm cells have been frozen and thawed successfully for more than 40 years. By using special technology and then keeping sperm in liquid nitrogen at minus 196C, it can be stored for many years while maintaining a reasonable quality.Preserving & Storing Sperm
How long can sperm be stored?
By law, sperm can be stored up to 10 years or until your infertility treatment at Beloved Fertility Center is completed, whichever is soonest. The sample(s) will then be destroyed unless you make alternative arrangements. So it is important that you keep us updated with any changes in your details so that we can contact you. The storage duration can be exceeded only in certain circumstances. The amount of time in storage does not influence the success rate. Damage can occur to the sperm during freezing and thawing, not while it is frozen.
There is a fee for freezing each semen sample. This charge includes twelve months’ storage. After the initial twelve months, costs apply for storing one or more samples at Beloved Fertility Center. This annual storage fee applies regardless of the number of samples stored and is not refundable. Please contact us to ask about our current rates.
If you decide to freeze and store your sperm with Beloved Fertility Center, you must update us about any address changes
Could there be the problem with the quality of sperm affected by freezing method?
Yes, there may be a problem with the number and quality of the sperm, especially in men who are about to undergo cancer treatment. Their underlying illness may have caused a reduction in the sperm count or in their motility (movement). In such situations it may be advisable to freeze even more specimens if time and treatment permit.
If the sperm count or motility is low, the thawed samples may not be suitable for intra-uterine inseminations. However, we can still use them for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), whereby individual sperm are injected directly into the eggs. These procedures are much more complex and costly, but can result in pregnancies even in cases where the sperm count is low or the sperm are functionally impaired.
Are there any risks with the children produced by the use of frozen/thawed sperm?
Research has shown no difference in the rates of abnormalities or birth defects among children conceived with fresh versus frozen sperm. However, in case of fertility preservation in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy, there are some theoretical concerns that chemotherapy drugs may have unknown effects on the sperm or the offspring. If possible, it is best to freeze the specimens before chemotherapy begins.
Sperm Freezing & Storage
Much like egg freezing, sperm freezing allows men to use their sperm if they need to delay conception or if they are undergoing medical procedures that are likely to affect fertility. Unlike eggs, sperm can be frozen and stored indefinitely – there are no limits placed on how long sperm can remain frozen before use.