Semen cryopreservation is preserving sperm cells by cooling and storing them at low temperatures that can be used in future after thawing. In Greek, "kryos" means cold andCryopreservation is cold storage for the purpose of preservation.
Preparation for the procedure
It is recommended to abstain from sexual activity for 3-10 days before collection.
- The semen is collected in a sterile container by ejaculation in a private collection room at a fertilitycenter. One can also collect the sample by using vibratory stimulation or testicular sperm aspiration.
- Samples collected at home should be transported to the laboratory within one hourat room temperature.
- The collected semen samples are analyzed for volume, viscosity and pH levels. They are examined under a microscope to determine motility, sperm count, and morphology.
- A cryoprotectant is added to the semen to avoid sperm damage caused by freezing. It is divided into cryo-vials to preserve them using preservation technology i.e. storing below the freezing point (-196 C). This allows high rates of survivability upon thawing.
- Minimum three specimens are needed with 2-3 days of interval between ejaculates. In total 9 days are needed to complete the collection and storage.
Uses of semen cryopreservation
- This is useful for men undergoing certain treatments like prostate or testicular surgeryor a vasectomy that may leave them sterile.
- Sperm can be stored for use with IUI, IVF or other similar procedures, which canbe used whenever needed.
- It is used before IVF to acquire multiple semen samples in men having low sperm counts.
- Cryopreserved sperm is less likely to result in birth defects than freshly ejaculated sperm.
Medical tourists are advised to plan in advance and must do a thorough research regarding the fertility center’s staff efficiency and creditability.
Inquire about the required stay at the destination and plan your return accordingly with a spare margin of 1-2 days.