Freezing Sperm For Future Use
Although men don’t experience the same ticking biological clock women do, there are times freezing sperm may be required. An easy procedure known as sperm banking allows men to collect a sample to be used later. Fertility preservation can be used by men undergoing cancer treatment or men planning a vasectomy. Men with deteriorating sperm quantity or quality and men with advanced age may also be good candidates for sperm banking.
1. Cancer treatment affects fertility
Family planning may be the last thing on the mind of men with a cancer diagnosis. However, chemotherapy damages sperm, while radiation can lower sperm counts and testosterone levels. Depending on the treatment recommended, the effects on fertility can be temporary or permeant. For peace of mind, the oncologist may recommend fertility preservation. By banking sperm, cancer patients can increase the chance of having a baby after treatment is complete.
2. Upcoming vasectomy
There are many reasons a man may choose to have a vasectomy. Family size could feel complete, or the financial strain of another child could feel daunting. This permanent procedure almost guarantees a future pregnancy will not happen. However, circumstances change, and men who once thought a family was complete may want more kids in the future. Sperm banking before the vasectomy procedure allows for future family planning options if desired.
3. Low sperm count or quality
Approximately 1 out of every 3 infertility diagnoses is attributed to the male partner. This means for some men, sperm quantity or quality may be a problem. A semen analysis can help determine the current fertility status. If the results show fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen, a man is said to have a low sperm count. Sometimes a male may have enough sperm, but the quality is not great, resulting in lower chances of pregnancy. Banking sperm now avoids the possibility of quality and quantity further declining.
4. Too old to be a dad?
Although men can remain fertile much longer than women, certain risks increase with advancing paternal age. Men who father a baby after age 50 are more likely to experience a baby born prematurely. Health conditions, including autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, are more likely to happen in babies born to older fathers. Freezing sperm when a man is younger can help to circumvent serious problems.
Take your time
The bottom line is sperm banking is a relatively easy and pain-free procedure that can be done for various reasons. If future fertility is a concern or kids are desired later in life, banking a sample now might be the best approach. With sperm stored, there is no rush to have a baby, and family building can occur on a person’s own timeline.