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Does Cryopreservation Affect The Quality of Sperm?

Sperm freezing is typically a part of the options available along with in vitro fertilization. Many people appreciate it since it helps them to conserve their fertility well into the time that they are ready to conceive or to avoid infertility in case of medical procedures or illnesses that will affect their fertility.

After extraction of the sperm, they are put into deep freeze in liquid nitrogen for the purpose of future use. Additives or cryoprotectants, such as glycerol, DMSO, and sugars, are added to aid the sperm. These additives are to reduce injury of cells during the freezing and thawing process.

This is a long tried-and-tested option that clinics and IVF success stories can vouch for, however, it cannot be avoided that some couples may worry about the freezing’s effect on the viability of their gametes or reproductive cells.

sperm freezingphoto credit: waterstoneclinic.ie

Here are some points to help you rest easy.

An examination is done beforehand

Even before the semen sample is acquired or the testicular sperm extraction process is done, blood testing, urine testing, and various other tests can be done to ensure that the man is in good reproductive health to produce semen that will contain healthy sperm.

Several samples are allowed

To assure the viability of the sperm that is frozen, more often than not, several sperm samples are typically called for to make sure that there is a healthy sperm count available when it is time to make use of the sperm. For men that are to go under chemotherapy and other similar medical treatments, especially, providing several samples for freezing are necessary.

Freezing has no proven negative effect

If upon initial evaluation the sperm is all well and healthy, then there’s no need to worry about the sperm’s viability and ability to fertilize once thawed.

In terms of concern regarding sperm freezing and birth defects, there remains no research proving that using thawed sperm for in vitro fertilization poses a larger risk for the baby being born with any abnormalities.

Similar to egg freezing, the “effectiveness” or the viability of the sperm once it is thawed relies heavily on the quality of the sperm itself. This is why before you go in for your sperm freezing, it’s crucial that you check in on the condition of your sperm with your urologist first to make sure that everything’s good to go.