Sperm freezing is a process of freezing and storing semen samples so you and your partner may use them to become pregnant in the future.
There are many situations that could interfere with your future fertility. These may include:
- Illnesses (such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis) that may cause erectile difficulty
- Spinal cord disease or injury
Many men decide to freeze sperm as a safeguard against unforeseen future circumstances.
How do I Arrange to Freeze my Sperm?
You can arrange to freeze sperm by contacting Olive Fertility. At your appointment you will be asked to have blood test for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. We screen for these infections as they can be transmitted through the semen to a female partner or an unborn child.
To ensure the best quality of sperm we recommend that you collect the specimen at the clinic in one of our private collection rooms. However, you may collect the specimen at home if you ensure that it is in our laboratory within 30 minutes after it is produced.
Please bring your MSP Care Card with you to the appointment and be prepared to sign consent forms for the freezing and storage of semen.
Do I need to Freeze Multiple Samples?
We recommend that your freeze more than one sample but if that is not possible, even one sperm sample may be enough for conception. There can be a number of factors such as chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or amount of time before surgery that will determine how many samples can be collected for freezing.
We recommend you abstain from sexual intercourse and ejaculation for two days before the first samples and for about two days between samples. If you are unable to donate through sexual stimulation, sperm cells can be obtained through minor surgery or electrical stimulation.
How Long can my Sperm be Kept Frozen?
Sperm can be frozen indefinitely
How Successful is the Procedure?
There are numerous factors that affect the success rate including:
- Survival rate of sperm during the freezing and thawing process (approximate 60%)
- Your health or underlying illness at the time the sperm is frozen.
- The age of your female partner
How is Sperm Used in the Future?
Sperm is thawed and then either:
- Put in your partner's uterus in a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- Used to fertilize your partner’s eggs outside her body in a process called in vitro fertilization (IVF)
If you do not have a sufficient quantity or quality of sperm, a process called ICSI may be required. This involves your partner undergoing the IVF process and then injecting each retrieved egg with a single sperm in our lab. The resulting embryos are then replaced back into your partner’s uterus.
Do Children Conceived with Frozen/Thawed Sperm have more Health Problems?
Children conceived with frozen/thawed sperm do not appear to any greater risk of health problems than children conceived with fresh sperm.
Who Can I Talk to?
One of the nurses or physicians at Olive will be happy to discuss sperm banking and the report of your sperm analysis with you. A copy or the report will also be sent to your referring physician.