Extension of Sperm storage for 1 year

Sperm storage

Overview

Sperm cells are reproductive cells in males and persons who are born male (AMAB). Your testes (testicles) create sperm. When you ejaculate during orgasm, roughly 300 million sperm cells are released in your sperm. When you orgasm, a whitish-gray fluid called sperm is released from your penis.

Men can store their sperm to utilize in future treatments or to contribute to someone else's therapy. Before it may be utilized by a recipient, donated sperm is normally isolated for three to six months and tested for diseases. The period of quarantine is determined by the sort of screening tests performed at your clinic.

The practice of collecting, freezing, and storing sperm is known as sperm banking. It's also known as sperm freezing or cryopreservation. The sperm can be frozen and utilized for treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the future.

Sperm banking, also known as sperm freezing or cryopreservation, is an excellent way for couples (or single people) to preserve their chances of having a biological baby in the future, especially if the partner with testes works in a high-risk profession or is about to undergo certain medical procedures or treatments.

 

Why people choose to freeze their sperms?

Doctor consult

The decision to bank your sperm is highly personal. You might wish to utilize your sperm in the future to create children. However, your existing status or circumstances may prevent you from having a child through sex (intercourse). There are several circumstances that might jeopardize your future fertility. These might include:

 

How sperm freezing is done?

Sperm freezing

It is critical that you disclose your intention to have children to your doctor as soon as possible before beginning therapy. Your healthcare practitioner will advise you on the alternatives for preserving your fertility and send you to a fertility expert who has experience treating men who have had testicular cancer therapy.

Sperm banking will very certainly be included in the treatment strategy. This is a frequent, noninvasive technique that must be begun as soon as possible. Sperm banking should be done before to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy to ensure that the healthiest and most sperm is saved.

 

Patient assessment:

Before you bank your sperm, your healthcare professional will screen you for sexually transmitted illnesses and infections (STIs), such as syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV and AIDS. They’ll likely employ a blood test.

During a blood test, your healthcare professional will take a little amount of blood from a vein in your arm using a thin needle (21 gauge, slightly smaller than a normal earring). It is normally not unpleasant, but you will feel a tiny squeeze when the needle passes through your skin. Your blood sample will be sent to a laboratory (lab) for testing once your healthcare professional has taken it. The blood will then be tested for the existence of any STDs or STIs by lab technicians.

 

Sperm collection:

The person then provides a sperm sample. The most common method of supplying the sample is masturbation in a reproductive clinic, but in rare cases, a sample can be created at home and submitted to a lab within a few hours. The specimen must be maintained as close to body temperature as possible in a lab-approved cup. Unless specifically authorized by the lab, the sample cannot contain lubricants or moisturizers.

A surgical procedure is occasionally necessary to extract sperm from testicular tissue. This might be true for those who have already undergone a vasectomy or cancer treatment. Individuals suffering from infertility (low sperm count or no sperm in the sperm) may also require sperm extraction surgery.

 

Sperm analysis:

After obtaining sperm, the volume of the sperm is measured before being washed with sterile liquid. Centrifugation is then used to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid and transport medium (spinning).

Using a high-powered microscope, lab personnel can examine just the sperm. CASA, or computer-assisted sperm analysis, technology is used in many laboratories to offer exact and consistent assessments of the primary sperm parameters: sperm count, motility (how many sperm are moving), and morphology (how many sperm are properly shaped).

Professionals look for sperm in the ejaculate. If the sperm count is poor or non-existent, the patient is referred for more testing. The study's findings guide future infertility testing. Sperm concentration, morphology (shape), and motility are all examined by specialists (movement). They make certain that the sperm is in good quality and that there is plenty to freeze.

 

Sperm freezing:

Prepared sperm is placed in small vials of a specific freezing solution by specialists. The vials are kept in liquid nitrogen-filled refrigerators. Sperm must be maintained frozen at -196 degrees Celsius at all times. Each patient's sperm is frequently separated into multiple vials and preserved in different tanks. Even if one of the freezers fails, the other sperm samples are maintained. Sperm may be stored frozen indefinitely.

When the sperm is ready for use, it is gently thawed in the lab to room temperature. It is inspected after thawing to confirm that there is still motile, active sperm present. In rare cases, one-half of the sperm may not survive the freeze-thaw cycle. Those who survive, on the other hand, may have an edge in terms of fertility. These sperm may be more likely to result in a pregnancy when used in IVF.

 

What happens after sperm freezing?

Sperm sample

After you've taken your sperm sample and handed it to your doctor, they'll carefully label and code it with:

  • Your given name.
  • Your patient identification number (ID).
  • A unique internal control number (an additional unique number that ensures proper identification).
  • The time.

As an added precaution, the reproductive clinic may make a duplicate of your photo ID for your permanent file. This information provides correct identification and secrecy throughout storage, as well as during release.

Specialists transfer prepared sperm into a specific freezing solution in tiny vials. The vials are placed in liquid nitrogen-filled storage freezers. Sperm has to stay frozen at a constant temperature of minus 196 degrees centigrade. Each patient's sperm is often divided into many vials and stored in separate tanks. Even if one of the freezers fails, the other sperm samples are secure. Sperm may be kept forever frozen.

When the sperm is ready for use, it is gently thawed in the lab until it reaches room temperature. After thawing, it is examined to ensure that there is still motile, active sperm present. Unfortunately, one-half to two-thirds of sperm may not survive the freeze-thaw cycle in rare situations. Those who do survive, however, may have an advantage in terms of fertility. When utilized in IVF, these sperm may be more likely to result in a pregnancy, according to research.

 

How much sperms should I freeze?

Sperm identifying

Your family planning goals, sperm count, and sperm quality after thawing all influence how much sperm you should freeze. Each sperm sample typically yields four vials. One vial of sperm represents one attempt at intrauterine insemination (IUI), with a success rate of 10-20%. It is recommended that you freeze 3-5 vials for each pregnancy you hope to achieve when using IUI.

If you wish to employ intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a treatment that involves injecting one sperm into the egg to fertilize it before transferring it into the uterus, you don't need to freeze as many sperm samples. Because a single vial of sperm often contains hundreds of thousands (or millions) of sperm, a single vial of sperm may be used virtually forever in ICSI.

If you plan to have a large family in the future, you should store more samples than someone who just plans to have one child. If your sperm count or quality is lower than predicted after testing, you may be encouraged to save more samples. Because sperm quality might fluctuate, it is best to make many deposits. In an ideal world, you would freeze a large number of samples and use your best samples as much as feasible in the future.

 

Is sperm freezing effective?

Sperm freezing effectiveness

If the sample is of high quality, the loss caused by the thawing technique is not a hindrance to successfully conceiving a healthy child. This is due to the fact that the average sperm count per milliliter of sperm ranges from 15 million to over 200 million. In terms of sperm quantity, inseminations require just 10 million motile sperm, but IVF requires only one sperm for each egg.

Sperm does not lose effectiveness owing to freezing and thawing, and it has the same fertilization potential as fresh sperm, with no change in fertilization. Furthermore, there is no evidence that using frozen sperm increases the risk of health issues in babies.

 

Storage of sperms for more than 1 year

Sperm storing

If your sperm are not utilized immediately in therapy, you may want to keep them so that they might be used in the future. Sperm that is to be kept is frozen. You must consider how long in the future you might desire or be able to use preserved sperm, as well as the possible expenses of storage. You should speak with your clinic about this.

The restrictions for storing eggs, sperm, or embryos varies. Previously, most people could only preserve their embryos for up to ten years. They could only save for up to 55 years if they had early infertility or were planning to get medical treatment that might impact their fertility.

The legislation now allows you to retain eggs, sperm, or embryos for use in therapy for up to 55 years from the day the embryos are originally placed in storage. However, in order for storage to continue legally, you must renew your consent every ten years. You must provide your consent on the appropriate consent form.

Your clinic will contact you with pertinent information, and they should also offer you counselling before you consent to the preservation of your sperm. Your clinic will contact you and give you with the necessary permission paperwork at the proper time. It is consequently critical that you keep your clinic's contact information up to date, since you will be contacted. If your clinic is unable to reach you, your sperm may be withdrawn from storage and discarded.

You are not required to match the term of storage to any contract in order to pay for storage. However, if you fail to pay for storage as promised, the clinic may be able to dispose of your sperm. When you saved your sperm, your clinic should have properly stated this to you.

If you are storing sperm for backup purposes, the first storage term is usually one year. The standard storage period in cases such as pre-chemotherapy storage is ten years. In some instances, the time might be extended up to a maximum of 55 years. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you can do it and how long you can preserve your sperm for.

 

What happens if I didn’t renew my consent to storage at the appropriate time?

Sperm storage

If you do not renew your agreement to storage, your sperm will be withdrawn and discarded when it can no longer be lawfully retained. You can withdraw your consent to storage if you do not want to renew your consent to storage or continue saving your sperm. You must contact your clinic and complete the appropriate withdrawal of consent form. At this stage, you might want to think about giving the sperm you don't want to use for your own treatment to be used for training or in someone else's treatment.

You would need to discuss this with your clinic and get any necessary extra consents. You can also donate your sperm for research purposes, which will assist to enhance information about diseases and serious illnesses and perhaps create new remedies. Your clinic will need to provide you with further information and advise you on if this is a possibility for you.

 

What happens to my extra sperms after treatment?

sperms after treatment

It's a good idea to select a spouse, family member, or trusted acquaintance as an executor when you bank your sperm (someone who can execute your will). After your death, they will be able to extract your sperm samples from the sperm bank. If you like, they can also direct a sperm bank to destroy your samples.

If you have frozen sperm that you did not use in treatment, you have several options.

  • Donate them to someone else: You may be able to give your sperm to someone else in need of a family.
  • Donate them to training: You may have sperm in your freezer that you do not intend to utilize (for example, because the sperm are not needed, or are not suitable, for treatment). You can consent to your sperm being used and saved for future use by approved healthcare professionals during reproductive treatment operations. If you agree to the storage of your sperm for training purposes, your clinic may do so for up to 55 years from the day your sperm is first placed in storage.
  • Donate them to research: Egg, sperm, and embryo research is critical in assisting scientists in understanding the causes of infertility and developing innovative remedies.
  • Dispose them: Some people choose to discard their sperm. When sperm is no longer needed, it is simply removed from the freezer and allowed to expire naturally at warmer temperatures. 

 

What are the factors that influence sperm-freezing costs?

Sperm freezing cost

People with male reproductive systems are not always under the same biological clock pressures as those with uteruses. As a result, sperm freezing for longevity is becoming less prevalent. When a man is above 50, his kids are more likely to have autism or other hereditary illnesses. He also observes that male fertility declines with age.

Although sperm freezing at a younger age may avoid some of these illnesses or consequences, people should consider the expense if they want to retain samples for years or even decades. He proposes deciding how large of a family you want and when you want to start trying to conceive.

Both selections have an impact on storage expenses, which can range between $100 and $500 each year. The longer you keep frozen sperm, the more it will cost you in the long run. There are additional medical shipping charges connected with securely transporting sperm from the storage facility to the location where it will be implanted.

Before commencing the cryopreservation procedure, it is critical to have a strategy and a timeframe in place to avoid spiraling expenses. Doctor consultations, lab testing, and bloodwork are all unavoidable expenses.

Consultation fees vary depending on the physician; however, they might cost several hundred dollars. If you go to the clinic with a female companion for reproductive treatment, the consultation will most likely be billed under her name. The majority of the consultation will be spent planning her treatment, which could include intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

There are several ways to save money while pursuing cryopreservation. To help mitigate some of the costs, military and job benefits can be combined with health insurance. If you are thinking about freezing your sperm for medical reasons, there may be discounts or grants available for cancer patients who wish to preserve their sperm.

It is recommended that you consult with a clinical fertility advocate to help you consider your options, make plans, and prepare for your appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist. These fertility advocates will assist the patient in making more educated decisions, selecting doctors who will assure the greatest outcomes, and building the family they desire in the most cost-effective manner.

Patients should have bloodwork for infectious disease testing done with their primary care physician or healthcare provider under their usual medical insurance to prevent needless extra charges. Transferring the data to your reproductive practitioner afterwards may allow you to avoid the out-of-pocket costs associated with bloodwork at their facility.

If you're freezing for reproductive reasons, ask your doctor how much sperm you'll need. You will be able to freeze many vials of sperm from a single sample. If your sample has more than the typical sperm count threshold, you may be able to request that the andrology experts split it into two vials. This saves you from having to freeze extra sperm, which is especially useful if you want to utilize this sample for IUI or IVF in the future.

Furthermore, several firms now provide at-home semen-freezing kits. These kits make the entire process easier and more discreet. It also eliminates travel and clinical fees. Sppare kits, for example, cost roughly $300 per sample and come with test findings.

There is a financial incentive to freeze sperm in the hopes of assisting another family in conceiving. Most sperm banks will compensate the donor for travel and costs. Sperm donors are compensated between $100-$150 every visit. If you contribute one or two times a week, you may receive an average of $4,000 in six months.

 

Conclusion

Sperm banking

Sperm banking is the freezing and preservation of sperm at a sperm bank. Masturbation is used to obtain sperm. It is commonly suggested that men collect three specimens prior to beginning chemotherapy, with 24-72 hours of abstinence in between. Patients who can only collect a single specimen, as well as those who have low sperm counts or sperm with poor motility, should also sperm bank since, despite these constraints, there are novel reproductive approaches to fertilize eggs. Once frozen, the specimen can be preserved for several years until the patient is ready to use it.

There is no scientific limit to the amount of time that sperm may be preserved in a frozen form. Sperm, on the other hand, has a normal storage life of 10 years. Only in exceptional situations may this period be exceeded. Your clinic will tell you whether you can do this and how long you can preserve your sperm. The amount of time spent in storage has no effect on the success rate. If you opt to freeze and store your sperm, you must notify your clinic of any changes in your residence. You can provide written permission to discard your samples at any time.