It was the work of Sherman in 1953 that established the first protocols for freezing human sperm.
Since then, the cryopreservation of sperm has become a routine procedure.
It is quite commonly offered in many situations in ART but also in adult and pediatric oncology.
Freezing may be proposed in different situations: before a gonadotoxic treatment in multidisciplinary consultation (pre-chemotherapy, radiotherapy, cytotoxic treatment, surgery, and hormonal treatment), freezing of sperm for ART treatment (if absence for professional reasons, difficulties giving a sample, etc.).
In the case of freezing sperm to preserve your fertility before an oncological treatment, patients with health insurance will have their treatment reimbursed up to the age of 45.
How is the sperm collected?
The sperm is collected by masturbation after an abstinence period of 2 to 5 days.
On the day of your appointment for cryopreservation, you can do it either in the dedicated room in our fertility center or at home with a suitable container (sample must be delivered within an hour of the appointment and kept at body temperature).
In case of difficulty with masturbation, a special non-toxic condom for sperm can be provided to have complete intercourse at home and collect the semen in the condom to then empty it into the sterile container.
How is sperm frozen?
The sperm is mixed with a cryoprotectant at room temperature before being packaged in pellets and then gradually frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors.
It is then submerged and stored in liquid nitrogen or in nitrogen vapor until its use.
For patients benefiting from health insurance in Belgium, the treatment for sperm preservation before an oncological treatment is reimbursed until the age of 45.