Sperm freezing – All you need to know!
Sperm freezing or sperm cryopreservation involves freezing and storing sperm at ultra low temperatures in liquid nitrogen. Sperm when mixed with specialized cryoprotectants can easily withstand cellular damage that occurs with these low temperatures.
Here are 10 quick points about sperm freezing you should know.
Point 1: Sperm freezing is done for two purposes, one as a part of a routine IVF treatment process and the second important reason is for fertility preservation for cancer patients.
Point 2: Sperm freezing, despite all the latest scientific advancements, is associated with some degree of cellular damage. But large scale studies have clearly shown that pregnancy rates do not differ significantly when fresh and frozen sperm were used for fertility treatments
Point 3: Sperm frozen and stored upto 20 years or more have been used for fertility preservation. Cool isn’t it?
Point 4: Sperm freezing should only be done in specialized Andrology laboratories with facilities for handling and storing liquid nitrogen
Point 5: Before, freezing sperm, their is a certain baseline serology or infectious disease testing that is done on the male partner. This is to prevent spread of infections in the low temperature storage
Point 6: After thawing a particular semen sample, it is normal to see about 50% of sperm losing their motility. This is due to damage to the sperms that occur during the rapid changes in temperature associated during thaw.
Point 7: Just like sperm it is also possible to freeze testicular tissue, using cryoprotective agents. Although this procedure is complex, this is an important treatment strategy for fertility preservation and in men suffering from Azoospermia (no sperm in the ejaculate)
Point 8: Contrary to common thinking, the cost of sperm freezing especially in India is extremely low and ranges from Rs 1000 to 3000 in most fertility units
Points 9: Semen sample collection for sperm freezing is usually collected within the fertility unit by the process of masturbation
Point 10: Freezing sperms is a well established and well published. Techniques for freezing the sperms are numerous and different techniques yield different results.
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