Sperm freezing can be undertaken to preserve a man’s fertility.
A man provides a semen sample through ejaculation. Sperm can also be accessed via a testicular biopsy if ejaculation is not possible or if sperm can’t be found in the ejaculate.
Why do I need to freeze my sperm?
Men can choose to freeze their sperm for a variety of reasons
– They are undergoing treatment for Cancer or taking other medications that are known to reduce sperm count.
– Sperm freezing can also be done for social reasons – such as during an IVF Treatment cycle where the man can’t be present when required (such as working FIFO) or if he is to undergo vasectomy.
Under Western Australian law, your sperm can be stored for a maximum of 15 years and cannot be used for treatment posthumously.
What happens when sperm are frozen?
– You will be screened for infectious diseases, including HIV and hepatitis B and C.
– You will need to give written consent for your sperm to be stored.
– At the clinic, you produce a fresh sample of sperm.
– The sperm are frozen and then stored in a storage tank containing liquid nitrogen.
How do Semen Tests Work?
A semen analysis can provide information to see if a man contributes to a couple’s infertility. 40% of infertility is due to the male.
Making a Semen Deposit
You’ve deposited your sample into a cup and it’s now ready to be tested.
What do we look for?
A semen analysis demonstrates the volume, concentration (number of sperm per mL), motility (movement) and morphology (how each sperm looks).
What else is important to semen quality?
Some laboratories comment on other aspects including viscosity, pH and presence of anti-sperm antibodies as well as amount of damage to the DNA of the sperm.
What is my next step?
The results of the semen analysis will be reported to your doctor. If the results are normal then nothing else is required.
If it is abnormal then your doctor may ask you to repeat it. Due to the daily variation in semen analyses 2 normal results should be obtained to ensure male fertility is ‘normal’.
As most fertility problems are a result of more than one factor it’s best to wait until your partners results are also reviewed before any course of action can be fully explored.