Frozen sperm effective as fresh sperm

President, Academy of Medicine Specialties and Secretary-General of the International Federation of Fertility Associations, Prof Oladapo Ashiru, says there are no significant differences between fresh sperm and frozen sperm used for Supported Reproductive Technology.

Prof Ashiru said frozen sperm would not interfere with fertilization and clinical pregnancy rates.

He said with intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization, one has a better chance of removing barriers on the road to pregnancy.

Talk to The PUNCHAshiru said studies also showed no difference between fresh sperm and frozen sperm in ART.

“It was reported in 2004 by a group from the Mayo Clinic Rochester that couples who use in vitro fertilization have the same probability of a successful pregnancy or the sperm used is frozen or fresh.

“A study from Egypt in 2021 showed that the use of frozen testicular sperm from men with non-obstructive azoospermia fertilization and clinical pregnancy rates similar to those of fresh sperm. This may encourage fertility centers to use frozen testicular sperm samples, as these policies have certain benefits that will help organize their workflow.

“Another New York study in more than 6,000 couples showed that the use of fresh compared to frozen ejaculated sperm had no impact on the reproductive outcomes of fresh embryo transfer cycle.

“In a study conducted using first fresh embryo transfer cycles at a single high-volume academic institution between 2013 and 2019. In our Medical Arts Center clinic, we have not observed any significant difference between frozen and fresh samples since 1994,” he said. said.

According to the fertility expert, the sperm freezing procedure freezes sperm cells to preserve them for future use.

To begin with, the embryologist verifies that the sample belongs to the appropriate patient and evaluates the volume of the sample, together with the sperm concentration, motility and progress. The sample is then placed in a tube and combined with a sperm cryopreservation medium.

“Once the sample is equilibrated, it is evenly distributed between pre-labeled cryopreservation vials, including a test-thaw vial, and placed in a liquid nitrogen vapor, and later in liquid nitrogen storage. Once the samples are frozen, the test vial is thawed to ensure sperm viability. The process allows the sperm to be stored safely in liquid nitrogen for many years.

“The procedure that makes it possible to stabilize the cells at cryogenic temperatures is called cryopreservation, also known as an applied aspect of cryobiology or the study of life at low temperatures. Many advances in cryopreservation technology have led to the development of methods that allow for low-temperature maintenance of various cell types, including male and female gametes, small multicellular organisms, and even more complex organisms such as embryos.

“Cryopreservation of human spermatozoa, introduced in the 1960s, has overcome many space and time constraints and is now an integral part of assisted reproductive technologies.”

He said this technique becomes important in cases of male fertility preservation before radiotherapy or chemotherapy, which can lead to testicular failure or ejaculatory dysfunction.

“Semen cryogenesis seems to be the only proven method that can offer these couples a chance to have future children. Cancer therapy can lead to damage, leading to sub-fertility or sterility due to gonadal removal or permanent damage to germ cells caused by adjuvant treatment.

“The risk associated with therapy mainly depends on several factors: the patient’s age at the time of treatment, the dose, location and type of treatment. Some non-malignant diseases, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can also lead to testicular damage. Cryopreservation is also advisable in these conditions. In countries where heterologous (donor egg) fertilization is permitted by law, and in donor insemination programs, cryopreservation is necessary to have enough time to examine donors for infectious agents, such as the HIV and hepatitis B viruses, before the cryopreserved semen is used for clinical purposes. In azoospermic patients who have undergone testicular sperm extraction or percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration, sperm cryopreservation is also used to avoid repeated biopsies or aspirations.

Furthermore, cryopreservation is regularly performed in patients who need to start ART and decide to prevent the semen sample from freezing to avoid inconvenience due to failed ejaculation which is often associated with ‘semen collection stress’, certain emotional states, or other obligations during oocyte recovery. , ”He remarked.

He added that freezing of male gametes is mainly recommended to preserve fertility in those subjects who, for one reason or another, are exposed to potentially toxic substances, which may interfere with the sperm production mechanism.

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