Common Reasons Men Freeze Their Sperm
For 70 years, freezing sperm, also known as sperm banking or cryopreservation, has allowed many individuals and couples to safely and effectively enhance their fertility. Sperm can be thawed for assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Freezing sperm can also increase future conception chances for individuals with health conditions, such as cancer, or those undergoing certain procedures or treatments, as well as those with dangerous occupations.
Babies conceived with frozen sperm are just as healthy as those conceived through sexual intercourse. Frozen sperm also does not raise the risk of conditions present at birth.
Common Reasons Why Men Freeze Their Sperm
While a healthy man can produce sperm and father a child throughout his lifetime, fertility rates start to decline after the age of 35. Research suggests that sperm quality — including concentration, morphology, motility, and the volume of semen — diminishes with age, but freezing when sperm is at its healthiest allows men to boost their chances of having a biological child.
Sperm Freezing for Medical Procedures or Conditions
Freezing sperm is an effective reproductive option for men with specific health conditions or those who will have medical procedures that can potentially harm their reproductive health. Taking certain medications, such as testosterone therapy or sickle cell therapy, may also impact male fertility.
Cancer – Men may freeze sperm before undergoing cancer treatment. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy can reduce sperm quality or cause infertility. Another procedure that is sometimes used for the treatment or prevention of testicular cancer is orchiectomy, which involves the removal of the testicles, resulting in sperm no longer being produced.
Vasectomy – Many men choose to freeze their sperm before undergoing a vasectomy, which is considered to be a permanent form of birth control. Pre-vasectomy sperm banking makes it easier for these men to conceive later in life if they change their minds about having children.
Other procedures – Individuals undergoing procedures such as testosterone replacement therapy or gender confirmation, may want to consider freezing their sperm for future use.
Sperm Freezing for High-Risk Occupations
If you have a high-risk occupation that requires working in a hazardous setting, or you’re deployed in the military, freezing your sperm may be beneficial. This allows you to safeguard your fertility options in the event of a worst-case scenario. This is a great option to have whether you’re single or part of a partnership.
What Does the Sperm Freezing Process Entail?
When freezing your sperm, you usually provide a sample in a private room at a fertility clinic or sperm bank, ensuring it’s at its freshest when frozen. The sample is analyzed for quantity, morphology (size and shape), and motility (movement), all of which help determine how many more samples are needed. While it may depend on sperm quality, typically, about 3-6 specimens are collected for each desired pregnancy. The samples are separated into multiple vials and frozen by a lab technician. Should you be unable to ejaculate or your sample has no sperm, surgical retrieval may be possible.
Schedule a Sperm Freezing Consultation in California
By freezing your sperm, you have an additional resource for future parenthood. If you have any questions or concerns, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Fertility Center of California today.