Dr. Lahari Katneni, Infertility Specialist, Nova IVF Fertility, Hyderabad
If you are willing to start a family at some point, you and your partner may consider freezing the sperm. Sperm storage is the best insurance to prevent infertility, as it allows couples to choose to have children of their own. Sperm freezing is not limited to sperm donors. People who do not have a donation plan can do the same, particularly if they are not yet ready to have children but know they will one day. The sperm bank procedure, also known as sperm freezing or cryopreservation, is an excellent option for couples (or singles) to protect their prospects of future conception.
Men can store sperm for several reasons. Sperm storage is recommended for all men interested in future fertility. The most common is the diagnosis of cancer, such as testicular and non-Hodgkin disease and prostate cancer. Cancer treatment leads to decreased sperm quality and, in many cases, can also lead to infertility. Other reasons include, if you are going to have a vasectomy, travel, or serving in the military, and choose to reassign sex, you may decide to bank your sperm in case you change your mind about having a baby in the future.
Men with very low sperm counts can be encouraged to freeze their sperm prior to IVF, in case their partner does not have sperm in their fresh semen on the day of egg retrieval. Surgically removed sperm are generally be frozen for future assisted reproductive treatments. Men who plan to become fathers over the age of 50 should also consider storing their sperm. Children of fathers over 50 are at risk for mental illnesses increases in the newborns.
Who needs to freeze their sperm?
- People undergoing surgery or medical procedures.
If you plan to have surgery, such as confirming your gender, you may decide to do so to preserve your chance of having your own child. Some medical procedures also affect ejaculation ability, so sperm banks are generally provided prior to scheduling these procedures.
- Cancer patients
If you are diagnosed with testicular cancer or prostate cancer, you may be told that treatment may include surgery to remove one or two testicles. In fact, anyone with testicular cancer, especially teens, may wish to consider freezing their sperm before receiving treatment. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are two cancer treatments that might lower sperm quality or cause infertility.
- Cryopreservation of semen
It is also part of the IVF cycle. The purpose of freezing semen during these treatments is to ensure that there is a spare sperm sample in case the male partner cannot produce a sperm sample on the day of egg retrieval. This method can be used as part of IUI treatment if the male partner is absent during the ovulation of the female partner
If you are about to reach adulthood, you may choose to freeze the sperm to preserve the possibility of having children. Semen quality reportedly declines with age because sperm concentration, morphology (size and shape), and motility will decrease. Not only do mental illnesses increase with age, but there is also evidence that sperm production declines. Some people even become sterile as a result.
The right age to freeze the sperm.
Anyone who is healthy and has some sperm in their semen is an ideal candidate for a sperm bank. And boys can store sperm too. Young boys who have been diagnosed with cancer and have entered puberty are also good candidates for sperm banking. Those who are frozen to donate sperm to a commercial sperm bank must be under 35 years of age (According to Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines), in good health, with good sperm parameters, and with no other diseases like cancer, sexually transmitted diseases or other genetic illnesses in the family.
The age of a man not only affects the couple’s chance of getting pregnant but also plays a vital role in the child’s pregnancy and health. Therefore, if men and women plan to postpone childbirth, talking to their doctor may be a good idea. For men who want to delay childbirth, freezing sperm before the age of 35 may be a wise choice.
The life span of frozen sperm
Freezing sperm protects its quality, whether someone is freezing in the short term or looking for long-term storage. Sperms can be frozen for as long as you can, but the motility of sperm starts reducing after 2 years. After 2 years, there was a small decrease in sperm’s survival rate.