Freezing and Storage
Sperm specimens are obtained via masturbation. If masturbation is impossible, sperm cells can be obtained through minor surgery or electro-ejaculation (Refer to Urologist). There doesn’t appear to be any difference in the rate of abnormalities or birth defects among children conceived with fresh or frozen sperm. However, there are some theoretical concerns that treatments like chemotherapy may have unknown effects on the sperm or the offspring. Interested parties are encouraged to discuss this with their physician.
What does it cost to freeze sperm?
There is a fee for freezing each sample, as well as a monthly storage. The storage fee is payable on the date of the freeze and then billed every six months and payable in advance. Unless written consent and instruction is received to destroy samples, they remain cryopreserved. Frozen samples remain valid and usable for well in excess of 20 years.
How is it arranged and what is
- You can arrange an appointment by contacting us.
- Andrology tests are not covered by most medical aids, therefore all tests are paid by the patient and can be claimed from relevant medical aids if covered. It is important to have an average of 3 days abstinence.
- It is preferred that specimen is collected on site in a private collection room. However, special arrangement for home collection can be made if necessary.
Banting 4 Consultations Rooms | 4 Banting Street | Hospitaalpark | Bloemfontein | 9301
What Is Sperm Freezing?
Sperm Freezing is the process of freezing and storing semen samples for a number of years – after which they can be thawed and may be used to conceive a child.
Why would I want to freeze sperm?
There are many situations / treatments that could result in a decrease or sometimes complete loss of sperm production.
• Radiation Therapy
• Certain types of pelvic or testicular surgery
• Illnesses (such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis) that may cause erectile difficulty
• Spinal cord disease or injury
• High risk occupations or sports
• Fertility Preservation
• For these reasons and others, many men decide to freeze sperm as a safeguard against unforeseen future circumstances.
How is sperm sample collected and frozen?
The semen sample is collected by means of masturbation in a designated quiet room in the Unit. We prefer that samples be collected on site as that eliminates any problems which may occur during sample transport to the Unit. Certain documentation will have to be completed and handed with your sample to lab personnel. Once the sample has been assessed, it is mixed with a special liquid that will protect the sperm from the cold temperatures. The sample is frozen and kept in several dedicated straws. The sperm samples are kept at very low temperatures in storage vessels. The temperatures of these vessels are continuously monitored.
What can frozen sperm be used for?
If a function or fertility does not return after the specific treatment, the use of frozen sperm in an attempt to start a family, with some form of assisted conception treatment may be required. The treatments available would depend on the quality of the samples stored and this would have to be established at a consultation with a doctor at a fertility centre.
What are the risks of sperm freezing?
During the freezing and thawing process, there are chemical changes in the sperm membrane which can result in them being damaged, this damage can cause them to become non-viable.
A proportion of the viable sperm present in the sample before freezing will not survive the freeze-thaw process. Consequently, the final number of viable sperm following freezing and thawing will depend on the number and quality of viable sperm present in the original sample.
It is therefore advisable to freeze at least two samples before commencing and treatment e.g. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.
Multiple donations are usually recommended, but even one sperm sample may be enough for conception, everyone’s situation is unique; however, most men freeze between two and five samples. In many cases, the time interval prior to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment will be the deciding factor for how many samples can be collected for freezing.
We recommend sexual abstinence for three days before the first sample and for about
two days between samples.