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Sperm freezing

Sperm freezing is the most successful method of preserving a man's fertility so that he can try and have a baby at a later date.

Find out what it is and how it works so you can make the best choice for you.

Sperm through a microscope

What is sperm freezing?

Sperm freezing, also known as sperm cryopreservation, is the process of collecting a man’s sperm, rapidly cooling using a technique called vitrification and then storing in liquid nitrogen for future use.  


After freezing, the sperm can be used in treatment cycles such as IUI and IVF or can be donated to a bank for use in another person’s treatment.


It’s important to know that this doesn’t guarantee a future pregnancy.


But it does let you try treatment at the right time for you.



How does sperm freezing work?


With sperm freezing, you’ll firstly need to be screened for any infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis C. The results of these tests will have no bearing on whether you can freeze your sperm or not but will ensure that any affected sperm samples are stored separately to prevent the contamination of other samples.  


You’ll also be required to provide written, informed content to your sperm being stored and specify how long you want it to be stored for.  


At the clinic, you’ll be asked to produce a fresh sample of sperm (if you’re able), which will be mixed with a cryoprotectant to protect the sperm from damage during freezing.


If you’re unable to produce a fresh sample of sperm, we can also retrieve it using a procedure called surgical sperm retrieval.  


Before freezing, the sperm sample will be divided into separate containers so that not all the sperm needs to be thawed at once and can be used in multiple treatments (if required). The samples are then rapidly cooled and stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen.

Who can benefit from sperm freezing?

Preserving your fertility can be a reassuring option if you’re looking to have a family further down the line.


There are many reasons why you may wish to preserve your fertility. Some of the most common reasons are: 


You’re not ready to start a family yet

Lots of individuals come to us knowing that one day they wish to start a family, however, their circumstances mean they are either not financially or emotionally ready, there are other things they want to achieve beforehand, or they simply haven’t met the right partner.

You're about to have a vasectomy

Freezing your sperm before you have a vasectomy can offer you peace of mind in case you change your mind about having (more) children in the future.

You’re a transgender or non-binary person

If you’re starting hormone therapy or planning to have reconstructive surgery, both can lead to some or complete loss of your fertility.

You’re about to have treatment for cancer

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy can affect a person’s fertility, particularly when receiving high doses.  

You have a condition that may affect your fertility

In men, sperm and ejaculation disorders and conditions such as hypogonadism, or lack of testosterone, can lead to fertility problems.

You’re in the Armed Forces or have a hazardous job

If you’re working a job deemed as “hazardous” you may wish to preserve your fertility due to the increased risk of injury or exposure to harmful chemicals or illnesses.

Getting started contact us

We’re here to help

Whatever your situation, we’re here to answer your questions and guide you through your fertility preservation options. Please use our contact form to book an appointment at your local TFP Fertility clinic to find out more.

How long can I store my sperm for?

UK law permits you to store your sperm for use in treatment for up to 55 years from the date they are first placed in storage, however, you must renew your consent every ten years.


We’ll reach out when this renewal date approaches so you don’t need to worry about missing it. 

How safe is it?

We’re not aware of any risks to patients or children from using frozen sperm. However, it’s important to know that not all sperm will survive the freezing and thawing process.  

Father kissing his son while holding him

How successful is sperm freezing?

Fertility treatment using frozen sperm is just as successful as treatment using fresh sperm. However, it's important to know that not all sperm will survive the freezing and thawing process.

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