Semen cryopreservation is commonly recommended prior to treatment for various cancers, but it is less well known there are several reasons men should consider banking their sperm for future use:
Torsten Koehler, cancer survivor, founder of the “Love your Nuts” awareness project, and author of a book by the same name, says he was terrified when faced with chemotherapy and its potential impact on his ability to have children.
“It was inconceivable. I had chosen to become a teacher because I love children. I want to have children of my own,” he says.
“Since I was teaching biology I had access to the school’s microscopes. I took [a] microscope home and looked at sperm cells during chemotherapy. At the beginning the cells were still teeming under the microscope, but after four weeks there wasn’t a single cell left. It was good to know that ‘the children’ were being kept safe. It reassured and comforted me,” he says.
Next Biosciences medical director Dr Yvonne Holt explains that semen cryopreservation has been perfected since the procedure first emerged in the 1950s.
“Cryopreservation means that human tissues or cells, like semen, are frozen and stored in a way that preserves living cells for many years,” she says.
“We store the semen samples at -196 °C in liquid nitrogen that is constantly monitored and replenished. In this state, semen can be stored almost indefinitely, and successfully used in fertility treatments.”
November is now also known as Movember, an initiative that raises funds for research into male specific diseases, and educates the public about men’s health issues.
For more information about Semen Cryopreservation- visit: https://nextbio.co.za/cryo-y/