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Sperm Cryopreservation is a technique in which the semen is preserved in patients undergoing cancer treatment or infertility treatment.
The semen sample is collected and checked under the microscope before the storage, for concentration and motility and then stored in small vials for future use. Proper consent is taken from both partners or guardian in case of minor before the sperm freezing procedure. All viral markers should be negative.
The main cryoprotectant used is glycerol, or DMSO ( di-methyl sulfoxide) which will prevent the formation of ice crystals and will DNA integrity and function of the sperm cells after thawing.
During the freezing and thawing process sperm may undergo osmotic stress, oxidative stress, toxicity from cryoprotectants, reduction in number of normally function sperms etc, and hence to control such events the most commonly used cryoprotectant is glycerol with egg yolk which reduces osmotic stress within the spermatozoa.
The sperm can be frozen for a minimum of 10 years without any major changes in the sperm parameters if cryopreserved properly, though multiple times re-freezing and thawing may lead to poor sperm retrieval rate.
It can be renewed every 3-6 monthly.