Sperm freezing is becoming increasingly common for men who want to have kids at an older age. So what’s freezing sperm and should you think about it? Keep reading about everything you need to know about freezing sperm for future fertility.
What’s Sperm Freezing?
Sperm freezing includes the collection, examination, and cryopreservation process, where a man’s healthy sperm cells are preserved for use at extremely low temperatures at a later date when he wants to have a child. They are used to manage fertility or for gifts to other people or couples. Contrary to the freezing process in which women’s eggs or embryos are frozen, sperm is comparatively fast and quick and at low cost.
Benefits of Sperm Freezing For Future Fertility
1. Treatment Of Cancer
Radiation cancer therapy is known to decrease people’s fertility and even affect genetic material during the entire period of treatment. There is no guarantee of continued stable production of sperm after treatment, as sperm production can often irreparably be impaired. So before the procedure starts, those who want to have kids in the future will have to freeze the sperm.
2. Pre-vasectomy Sperm Freezing
While it seems to be counterintuitive for men who go to a procedure that would make them unable to impregnate women to freeze sperm, it is a common alternative. Men opt for vasectomies and not all have given up having children for a variety of reasons. Some freeze sperm in case they change their mind or at a certain point in life, they would like to have kids. While vasectomy is reversible, it is not always effective so it is a safety net for freezing sperm.
3. Surgery On The Prostate Gland Or Testicles
The danger comes from surgery on the testicles or prostate glands. There is a risk that sperm output or its distribution could be compromised, so it is recommended that sperm freeze before the operation. If the procedure causes conditions such as obstructive azoospermia, further surgery will be required to repair the damage, or even to remove sperm. In such cases, it is possible to ensure both freezing sperm samples and a cost-effective process.
4. Transgender Undergoing A Transformation From Male To Female
Individuals undergoing hormone treatment or undergoing surgery for gender reassignment can lose their ability to conceive as they go from male to female. Such individuals will freeze sperm to have a chance with a partner who is female via IVF to have kids in the future.
Who is Recommended to Freeze Sperm
Technically, sperm storage is advised for all men looking to use it as potential fertility insurance. Since life circumstances are uncertain, many couples freeze sperm to get pregnant and have a child at a later date. It also refers to individual men who are unsure about their upbringing, but want a second choice in the long run. There are a number of reasons why this is a smart idea. As men grow older, their sperm production is diminishing, and so are their chances of conceiving. Men over the age of 45 are also at risk of passing on cumulative genetic mutations over the years that contribute to birth defects and other cognitive disorders. The lower testosterone levels in older men is another explanation that is expected to influence sperm production. All these considerations are a good case for men looking to potential fertility for sperm freezing.
In comparison, freezing sperm before vasectomy or other cancer treatment procedures are a popular application. Because in some cases vasectomy can not be reversed and chemotherapy can impair fertility, sperm freeze is recommended. Freezing sperm is also used for men with lower sperm counts who engage in IVF treatments. Finally, for adolescents who have completed puberty and who are diagnosed with cancer, sperm freezing is also advised.
Where Does Your Sperm Freeze?
In a specific cryogenic facility known as a sperm bank, sperm is stored. Fertility clinics are normally fitted with a sperm bank. Home banking kits are available on the market, offering some convenience. If the individual can not access the sperm bank, he may use the home sperm banking kit in order to collect sperm in the comfort and confidence of his or her home and send it to the testing and freezing laboratory.
Process Of Sperm Freezing For Future Fertility
There is some documentation that includes a questionnaire before the procedure can start. If that has been done, the process of freezing sperm starts with sperm selection. Due to its highly personal nature, privacy is the first step towards comfort. After all your questions about the process are answered, a cup is given and a private selection room is discussed. The extraction of sperm is performed by a masturbation and the person may go alone or with his wife, for example. The semen must be ejaculated in a sterile cup so that the sample is not tainted.
The person is asked to refrain from semen collection for 2-3 days in order to optimize the chances. A surgical removal technique for the retrieval of semen directly from the controls is used if he is unable to ejaculate. The method is advisable in the laboratory because the semen is cool and fertile to the full. For some other cause, the clinics will provide a special condom and lubricant that would not harm the sample if a person chooses to collect it at home. It should be taken to the laboratory for review as soon as possible. The sample is divided into several vials and frozen with the help of a cryoprotection to retain cells until it is screened for STDs.
How Long Can You Freeze Sperm?
The frozen sperm can remain permanently stored and viable. A lot of healthy babies were born from sperm which was processed for two decades. The technology has existed since 1953 and recently saw substantial improvement.
Freezing Sperm for all men with a view to potential fertility is a viable choice. The technology has made adequate progress to extract and retain healthy sperm effectively, which can be used for decades.
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