Sperm Cryofreezing – Semen Banking
We routinely have a back-up semen sample frozen for couples who are undergoing treatment in case of inability to give a sample on the day of the IUI, IVF or ICSI. Men undergoing orchidectomy /cancer treatment prior to radiation and chemotherapy can also avail of our cryopreservation facilities. Those who are undergoing ICSI are encouraged to freeze their sperm so that we have adequate number of sperm at the time of ICSI. We routinely cryopreserve testicular and epididymal sperm, so that repeated attempts at obtaining fresh epididymal and testicular sperm may be avoided.
In this case the sperm is contributed by a donor male whose identity is withheld. The procedure for placing of sperms into the female uterus is same as for intra uterine insemination. The following interesting points may be noted:
- The female is the biological mother and genetic contributor, but the husband is not the biological father, but for all other concerns (psychological and legal), he is the accepted father. He is involved in the pregnancy preparation right from the pre pregnancy counselling to insemination to the pregnancy, delivery and rearing of the child thereafter.
- The procedure is simple and no surgery is involved in insemination.
- The procedure may be treated as adoption right from conception with one partner being sharing the genes with the full support and agreement of the husband. Both the husband and wife must be attitudinally ready to accept an anonymous sperm. Presently there is a debate whether the child must be informed of his biological father after he / she reaches adulthood.
- With the increasing spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD, the importance of using properly tested and quarantined semen, for the treatment of infertility, has gained great importance. In most developed countries, the use of fresh untested semen for donor insemination has been discontinued to prevent the spread of these diseases through insemination procedures. These samples are screened for HIV, hepatitis B and C and then quarantined in deep freeze (liquid nitrogen) to ensure safe donor insemination. Donor semen is used only after re-screening after 6 months for HIV. Stringent criteria are used to select donors- for e.g. blood cross match is one such to prevent Rh incompatibility. All the records of semen samples and donors are meticulously maintained under strict confidentiality.
Therapeutic donor insemination is indicated in couples where the male partner:
- Is not able to produce sperms at all ( irreversible azoospermia, severe oligospermia),
- Does not have the right quality of sperms (poor motility and abnormal morphology), or
- Has known genetic disorders (Huntington’s disease), haemophilia, non correctable ejaculatory dysfunctions, as a reproductive option after radio or chemotherapy for carcinoma testis, and in severely Rh sensitized Rh negative female partner with a Rh positive male partner.