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Freezing my sperm

A man may choose to preserve his fertility by collecting, freezing and storing his sperm for use at a later date.

Why do men freeze their sperm?

Men usually freeze their sperm for medical reasons. Certain chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgical treatments associated with specific cancers can have long-lasting ramifications on a man’s fertility. Therefore, freezing sperm can be a good idea before starting these treatments. Sometimes, this must be done urgently in order to prevent a delay in the treatment.

Men may also be required to freeze their sperm if they are currently undergoing IVF or intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures and cannot produce sperm on the required day.

What does the freezing process involve?

Sperm samples are usually self-collected at the clinic in our private amenities. The number of collections required will depend on the quality of the sperm. Men with no sperm in their semen (azoospermia) will require a testicular biopsy. During this procedure, sperm are retrieved by passing a fine needle directly into the testicle under local or general anaesthetic. The collected sperm are then frozen and stored until a time when you might choose to use them. At this time, the sperm will be thawed and used in the normal IVF process. Dependent on the number and quality of sperm, the use of ICSI may be required.

What are the success rates with freezing?

Freezing your sperm is not a guarantee for a baby in the future. The proportion of sperm that will survive the process of freezing depends on the individual and the original quality of the sperm. Also, once the sperm are thawed, a number of hurdles must be overcome, including successful fertilisation and embryo growth. Therefore, freezing your sperm is not a guarantee for a baby in the future. However, it is the most important thing you can do to preserve your fertility.

What are the costs involved?

The cost of sperm collection and vitrification (freezing) at Newlife IVF is $395. This includes the first 6 months of storage, after which the ongoing cost of storage per 6 months is $195.  There is currently no Medicare rebate for sperm freezing. For more detailed information, please see our fees page.

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