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Sperm Freezing

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Sperm Freezing

Sperm freezing is the most successful method of preserving a man’s fertility so he can try and have a child(ren) at a later date. It’s also used to store sperm so it can be used in someone else’s treatment.

It is possible for men to cryopreserve one or more sperm samples to preserve their fertility. Cryopreserved sperm is not altered in quality and the pregnancy results following use of cryopreserved sperm are not less than using fresh sperm of the same quality.

Sperm cryopreservation is an important component of fertility management and much of its successful application seems to affect the reproductive outcome of assisted reproduction technologies.

In which cases is sperm preservation treatment suitable?

Sperm freezing is part of assisted reproduction techniques commonly used for treating specific infertility related issues. Cryopreservation of sperm cells has been recognized as an efficient procedure for management of male fertility and can be beneficial in the following cases:

– Patients undergoing IVF or IUI

Male partners of patients undergoing IVF or intrauterine insemination (IUI) who cannot be present to give a fresh sperm sample on the day of their partner’s ovum pick-up or IUI. In this case, their semen can be frozen and thawed for use when required.

– Oncology patients

Oncology patients can have semen frozen prior to their chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as these kinds of treatments affect the sperm production and sperm quality.

– Surgical removal of testicles

Men that have to undergo surgical removal of their testicles and wish to store sperm for the future.

– Varicocele

Men with a varicocele may choose to cryopreserve sperm prior to corrective surgery as back-up in case the surgery delays their normal ability to ejaculate sperm.


– Patients undergoing TESA

Freezing of testicular tissue for patients undergoing testicular aspiration (TESA) or tissue biopsy due to azoospermia. The tissue is frozen if motile spermatozoa and/or spermatocytes are visible in the biopsy sample.

– Vasectomy

Men that wish to undergo vasectomy, may choose to freeze sperm for the future as back-up in case they wish to have a child in the future.

– Gender change

Men that wish to undergo gender change may choose to freeze sperm in case they wish to use it in the future

How does sperm freezing work?

Firstly, your sperm will need to be tested for any infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis. This has no bearing on whether you can freeze your sperm or not but is to ensure that affected sperm samples are stored separately to prevent contamination of other samples.
You’ll then need to give your written, informed consent to your sperm being stored and specify how long you want it to be stored for.
At an NCY clinic, you’ll be asked to produce a fresh sample of sperm (if you are able), which will be mixed with a a cryoprotectant (special fluid) to protect the sperm from damage during freezing.
Before freezing, the sperm sample is usually divided between a number of containers called straws. This means that not all the sperm needs to be thawed at once and can be used in multiple treatments. The samples are then cooled slowly and plunged into liquid nitrogen.

How much control do you have over what happens to your sperm?

In our recommended clinics in North Cyprus, you will need to complete consent forms before you start treatment specifying how you want your sperm to be used. This includes information on:

– How long you want your sperm to be stored for.

– What should happen to your sperm if you were to die or become unable to make decisions for yourself.

– Whether the sperm are to be used for your own treatment only, or whether they can be donated for someone else’s treatment, or used for research or training.

– Any other conditions you may have for the use of your sperm.

You can vary or withdraw consent at any time, either before treatment or before the sperm are used in research or training. If this happens, your sperm will not be used.


What if you don’t use your sperm?

If you have frozen sperm that you don’t want to use, a number of different options are available.

Research on eggs, sperm and embryos is invaluable in helping scientists to understand causes of infertility and develop new treatments, therefore you may want to donate them to research.

Embryologists need sperm to practice different techniques, such as injecting a single sperm into the egg during ICSI, so donating them to training is also an option.

You may be eligible to donate your sperm to someone else who very much wants a family. Some people prefer to discard their sperm. Sperm that are no longer needed are simply removed from the freezer and allowed to perish naturally in warmer temperatures.

Contact Health NCY and we will provide a more comprehensive breakdown of the options available to you in North Cyprus.