Answer from: Melvin H. Thornton, Associate Professor
When you freeze sperm, there’s no impact on the quality. Giving an example; we’ve been using frozen donor sperm to help women get pregnant for many years. Typically, once you freeze the sperm, the sperm survives very nicely afterward. Now the problem is that some men who are freezing for other purposes such as cancer diagnosis may already have a low sperm count because of the cancer diagnosis. Those cases are very difficult because when you have a low sperm count, the survival of the sperm may not be as good as if your sperm count was healthy. So it’s important that once you’re diagnosed with cancer, go see a reproductive specialist, do a sperm analysis to see what your sperm count looks like. If your sperm count is nice and healthy, freeze your sperm right away. If it’s low or you don’t have any sperm at all, then there are other techniques that we may have to use to extract sperm from the testicle to help you freeze it for the future or freezing testicular tissue as well.
Can freezing sperm cause any damage to the genetic material?
Not only sperm donors freeze their sperm. Men who are not ready to have a baby just yet, men before cancer treatment, or partners of women undergoing IVF can also freeze their sperm. This is known as sperm freezing or cryopreservation and is a great way of preserving your reproductive cells for later use. Can your sperm be damaged after freezing and thawing?