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 and cryopreservation 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 fertility center. 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.