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Sperm freezing (sperm storage)

Sperm can be frozen by mixing the sample with a media containing cryoprotectants
to allow the sperm to survive at very low temperatures. Sperm samples are frozen in clearly labelled plastic straws and stored in liquid nitrogen (-196°C).


There are a number of reasons for storing sperm. These include:

  • Fertility preservation – freezing sperm prior to medical treatment (eg. chemotherapy)
  • The male partner will be absent during fertility treatment
  • Potential difficulties in producing a sample on the day of fertility treatment