Fertility Care in Northern Ireland
Sperm can be frozen for future use, either in artificial insemination or other fertility treatments. Human sperm cells have been frozen, thawed and successfully used in treatment for more than 40 years.
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Before you agree to the freezing and storage of your sperm, your clinician will explain the process involved. You will be screened for infectious diseases, including HIV and hepatitis B and C and will need to give written consent for your sperm to be stored. At the clinic, you produce a fresh sample of sperm which will then be stored in a storage tank containing liquid nitrogen.
The consent forms that you complete before freezing sperm specifies what will happen to your sperm should you become unable to make decisions for yourself or die and how long you want to store your sperm (the standard storage period being 10 years). The consent form asks whether your partner (if you have one) can use the sperm later to create a family and whether you wish to be recorded as the father of any child born as a result of fertility treatment after your death. The form will also ask whether your sperm can be used in research or donated for use in someone else’s treatment. You can vary or withdraw your consent at any time, either before treatment or before the sperm is used in research.
When you store sperm, make sure you understand the limits on the storage time and keep in contact with the clinic.
Your treatment options may include IUI, IVF or ICSI/PICSI.
There are no published reports of any risks to patients or children from using frozen sperm.