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How long can sperm be frozen?

7 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Alexia Chatziparasidou,  MSc, PMI-RMP

Embryologist, Consultant Clinical Embryologist, Director of Embryolab Academy, Co-Founder of Embryolab Fertility Clinic Embryolab Fertility Clinic
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According to the data that we do have in our hands these days, it seems that the period of preserving the sperm has not a significant negative impact on the sperm quality and there have been reports of babies born after a decade of sperm storage. So, the data at the time is reassuring. However, there are always bioethical issues here: how long should we be able or allowed to preserve a sperm or an oocyte or an embryo before we discard it.

Answer from: Melvin H. Thornton, Associate Professor

Gynaecologist, Medical Director & IVF Director Global Fertility & Genetics
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Alright, at this point sperm can be frozen indefinitely. There’s no timeframe on how long you can freeze eggs or sperm. But particularly for sperm; sperm freezing can be indefinite and have the same quality once you go back to using the future, and the most important thing for men to remember is that what goes into the freezer is what comes out so if the sperm count is not healthy going in, then good chances it won’t be healthy coming out of the freezer after it’s been frozen. So if the sperm count is very good and healthy, long-term survival is indefinite and the chance of being successful with that sperm is the same as fresh.

Answer from: Eugenia Rocafort, BSc, MSc

Embryologist, Senior Embryologist ESHRE and ASEBIR certified Quironsalud Hospital Barcelona
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It hasn’t been shown that the time that the sperm sample is stored it does not affect the success of the cycle or the survival rate, however you have to take into account this is your responsibility to be aware of the maintenance of that sample. You need to renovate the agreement from time to time and to pay for the maintenance.

Answer from: Apostolos Georgiannakis, M.Sc., Ph.D

Andrologist, Sperm Quality Specialist
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Any sperm being frozen will be kept under liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is quite safe and sperm can be stored for many many years. We have seen sperm being used for an insemination and that sperm was stored for 25 years and that resulted in the life-birth. Storage of samples in liquid nitrogen is quite safe, it won’t affect the quality of that sperm over the years and the only thing that the patients need to be aware of as I’ve mentioned before depending on their country of residence, they need to be aware what laws there are in terms of how many years they can store their gametes in the lab and whether they need to extend.
For example, in the UK patients can indicate to store the sperm for up to 10 years they can choose less than 10 years or they can choose initially after 10 years and towards the end of those 10 years, the medical board will decide whether it is a medical reason for that patient to extend their storage and the maximum number of years that a male patient can store the sperm is up to 55 years but obviously every 10 years there will be a medical evaluation of the patient and whether the storage of those garments should continue or not.

Answer from: Ahmed Amer, DipRCPath, MBA, MSc, MEng

Embryologist, Senior Embryologist ARGC Limited
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Sperm can be stored indefinitely as long as the liquid nitrogen container that they leave in is maintained.  However, certain governing bodies, clinics or countries may enforce limits on how long you can keep a sample in storage. For example in the UK you can keep them for a maximum of 55 years.

Answer from: Renata Finelli

Embryologist, Junior Embryologist at CREATE Fertility
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No, there are no guidelines for the length of freezing. Technically you can freeze samples forever, there are no indications in this case. It is important how you store the samples, it should be kept in liquid nitrogen and of course if you repeat the process of thawing and freezing the same sample, the semen quality is constantly being reduced so it is more important in the way you store the sample than the length of storage.

Answer from: Bárbara Silvera Gijón, Embriologist

Embryologist, Embriologist Quirónsalud Valencia
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The standard storage period for sperm is normally 10 years, although men in certain circumstances can store their sperm for up to 55 years. Your clinician will be able to explain whether you can do this.
You must let the clinic know if you change address. This is important as if the clinic can’t reach you at the end of your agreed storage term, they may have to take your sperm out of storage and allow them to perish.
If you have the option to store for 55 years, you’ll need to confirm that you want to continue storing your sperm and your doctor will need to confirm that you’re eligible to do so. Again, it’s vital that you stay in touch with your clinic to prevent your sperm from being discarded if your storage term runs out. 

About this question:

How long can sperm can be frozen and stored?

Sperm is frozen in the IVF lab by an embryologist. The procedure involves using special media, then storing sperm in liquid nitrogen at minus 196°C. How long can sperm be stored maintaining a reasonable quality?

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Fertility Road Magazine
The only magazine devoted to IVF and donor conception!​
15 articles & 68 pages of "All About IVF"