Sperm Freezing

Sperm freezing may help with couples who have trouble collecting on the day of IVF or IUI.

Procedures such as intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization require the male partner to provide a semen sample on a specific day. The timing of these semen samples is very important for the success of the procedure. Sometimes there are circumstances which prevent the guarantee of the availability of the semen sample on a particular day. These circumstances may include professional obligations or travel. There are also factors which have to do with the occasional inability to produce a semen sample due to anxiety.

Regardless of the situation, a couple should express these concerns to their physician. They can then arrange for a collection of a sample at a more convenient time or under less stressful conditions for the purpose of freezing it. The andrology laboratory staff will be notified by the physician of the patient’s intention and the staff will prepare to freeze one or more samples that can be used for a procedure at a later time.

When the couple is ready to undergo their IUI or IVF case, the lab staff can thaw one or more vials of sperm in order to prepare an appropriate number of sperm for the procedure.

At the time of freezing, the lab staff will first perform a semen analysis to determine how many quality sperm are present in the sample. This number will dictate how the sample will be divided into vials and frozen. If there are many sperm present, the sample may be divided into two or more vials. If the sample contains a low number of moving sperm, the sample may be frozen all in one vial. If this is the case, the staff will probably recommend that the couple freeze additional samples, based on the number and quality of the sperm present in the ejaculate.