Sperm Bank (Semen cryopreservation)

Sperm Bank (Semen cryopreservation)

WHAT IS SPERM BANKING?
Sperm banking is the process of freezing and storing sperm for future use.

WHO NEED SPERM BANKING?

  • Person suffering from cancer, waiting for radical surgery or radiotherapy or chemotherapy that makes them infertile.
  • Treatment with drugs known to cause fertility problems or abnormalities in pregnancy.
  • Unable to produce a sperm sample on demand.
  • Husband or male partner will be absent at the time of treatment due to profession.
  • Male partner have poor sperm quality and there is a risk sperm may not be obtained on the day of treatment.
  • When sperm are being retrieved surgically.(e.g.MESA,PESA,TESE)
  • If you are about to undergo male to female gender reassignment you may want to bank your sperm too.


WHAT ARE THE SCEENING TESTS PRIOR TO SPERM FREEZING?

Person must be negative for HIV (1&2), Hepatitis B (surface  antigen & core antibody) and Hepatitis C.

Screening for sexually transmitted disease like Syphilis.

Karyotyping.

Genetic screening like thalassaemia.

A semen analysis must be carried out on the semen of the individual, and the semen must be found to be normal according to WHO manual  for semen analysis, if intended to be used for ART.


HOW TO COLLECT SAMPLE?

Required to produce 2-3 samples after 2-3 days of abstinence before each sample (but this condition can be waived in exceptional circumstances). Sample can be collected at laboratory or at home. Semen preparation should be done within 1 hour.


STORAGE

To protect sperm while  being frozen the sample is mixed with equal volume of cryoprotectant solution. Diluted sample is then loaded into small plastic tubes (straws) for freezing. Each individual straw is labeled with the person’s name, date, identification number, unique lab number. Samples can be stored in ampoules/vials and storage is done in liquid nitrogen at -180°c.


Storage vessels are monitored continuously and attached to alarm systems.

STORAGE MEDIUM

Most of the cryoprotectant medias contain electrolytes, glycerol, glucose, albumin, sodium bicarbonate, gentamicin etc.

CONSENT

Consent will be required on forms specifying:

  • That  you want to freeze and store your sperm.
  • How long you want to store your sperm.
  • How the sperm can be used (treatment with your partner, research or training).
  • What should happen to your sperm if you die or lose the ability to decide for yourself (mental incapacity).
  • Which other people (such as GPs, healthcare professionals or administrators) with which we may share / disclose information regarding your sperm storage.


HOW LONG SPERM CAN BE STORED?

As long as freezing conditions remain constant (very low temperature) sperm can survive the freezing process indefinitely. Those sperm that die do so within 48 hours of freezing, attrition rate thereafter is minimal. The statutory storage period is 10 years. Frozen sample can be stored as long as for 50 years. You will be required to renew your consent forms every 10 years until you no longer require your samples.


RISK

There is a small risk of deterioration and no guarantee that the sperm will survive the freezing / thawing process or that the use of such sperm would result in a pregnancy.


QUESTIONARIES

Am I guaranteed a baby form the stored semen?

No concepton depends on variety of factors such as sperm survival, sperm count in thaw sample, fertility of women partner. Once thawed sperm sample lives upto 24 hours in female body as opposed to fresh sperm which lives for 3 to 5 days.

Can thawed sample again be frozen?

No.

What is the procedure of cancelling storage?

You must submit a written request authorizing their destruction.

What should I do if sample volume is low?

Give another sample after 48 hours of abstinence. Abstinence permissible for 2-5 days. More than 5 days of abstinence causes accumulation of aging & dead sperm.

Consultants