Learn more about how sperm freezing can benefit patients
Oklahoma fertility specialists at our clinic recommend men consider sperm freezing in certain situations. Cryopreservation of sperm can be a helpful option during an IVF cycle and allows men to preserve their fertility. The process of freezing sperm is very straightforward and involves a lab specialist preparing, freezing and storing the sperm after collection. We can then thaw the sperm when the man is ready to use it.
There are various reasons a man might elect sperm freezing
Our Oklahoma fertility specialists might suggest cryopreservation of sperm for a man building his family with the support of our clinic. It is also a valuable option for any man facing a situation that could impact his fertility health. There are certain circumstances that could make a man a good candidate for sperm freezing.
IVF. Freezing sperm can be helpful before an IVF cycle, as it maintains the quality of sperm until an embryologist uses it to fertilize eggs from the man’s partner or egg donor.
Certain procedures. Treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and some surgeries can affect sperm and semen production. In these cases, it is beneficial for a man to freeze sperm before such a treatment.
Work conditions. If a man’s job, such as military service, could expose him to situations that could cause injury of the testes, freezing sperm could ensure he has healthy sperm available when he’s ready to have children.
Our clinic helps men determine if this type of fertility preservation is right for their unique needs.
How to prepare for the sperm sample collection
Before providing a sperm sample for freezing, there are certain steps men must take. These steps increase the chance of the process being as simple and effective as possible.
Abstaining from ejaculation. It’s important for men to not ejaculate for two to five days before sperm collection to increase the chance of a quality sample.
Selecting the collection location. Men can choose to collect their sperm sample in a collection room at our clinic, or at home. Following an at-home collection, men must deliver the sample to our clinic within an hour.
Utilizing surgery. The Oklahoma fertility specialists at our clinic help men determine if they require surgical retrieval of sperm. Surgical retrieval methods include MESA, or micro surgical epididymal sperm aspiration, and TESE, or testicular epididymal sperm extraction.
Following the collection of sperm, a lab specialist typically tests the sperm to ensure quality before freezing.
Learn what happens in the lab during the cryopreservation of sperm
After sperm collection and testing, a lab specialist uses vitrification technology to flash-freeze sperm. Vitrification consists of a series of processes that help ensure the sperm sample maintains its quality.
Placement of sperm in vials. The first step of cryopreservation of sperm involves a lab specialist separating the sample into cryogenic vials.
Removal of water. Next, the lab specialist mixes the sperm with a cryoprotectant that removes water from the sample and protects it from damage during freezing.
Freezing. Following the initial preparation, the lab specialist places the vials of sperm in storage tanks containing liquid nitrogen. These tanks freeze the sperm and maintain a specific temperature that pauses the biological processes of the cells in the sperm.
When a man decides to use his frozen sperm, a lab specialist thaws and prepares it for the fertility treatment the man selects. Depending on his situation, the man, and his partner if applicable, can try IVF or intrauterine insemination (IUI) to start or grow their family.
Men curious about the many benefits of sperm freezing can receive thorough information and quality care from our clinic.
Contact us for more information about cryopreservation of sperm.