Semen cryopreservation is a procedure enabling long-term, almost unlimited preservation of male reproductive cells. Cryopreservation of sperm does not reduce their quality, and therefore either a frozen or freshly collected ejaculate sample can be used successfully for artificial insemination.
Sperm cryopreservation is therefore a suitable method for any future use:
- It is for individuals, who wish to store their sperm in a sperm bank.
- For men, who for serious reasons cannot be present at their partner’s oocyte retrieval and can allow their reproductive cells to be frozen at any time prior to scheduled collection.
- For men with fluctuations in their spermiogram, a limited number of semen in their ejaculate, or difficulties obtaining a sample for personal reasons.
- For men with planned oncological treatment.
- For donors whose sperm cryopreservation is actually required by law. Donated sperm samples are required by law to be preserved in quarantine for 180 days in order to enable repeated mandatory laboratory testing for any signs of infection.
- In cases of surgical sperm collection from testes or epididymides, the acquired material is frozen in order to limit any potential repetition of this invasive procedure.
Technically, the method of sperm cryopreservation consists of freezing the ejaculate to a temperature of –196 °C and placing the samples in storage tanks containing liquid nitrogen (LIN).