Seven simple reasons to save your swimmers

By Next Biosciences 5 months ago
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Semen cryopreservation is not only for men fighting cancer

We have more control over our fertility and reproductive lives than ever before – that’s true for women AND for men. Today, men can save their semen in private storage banks, which means they have the option of future fertility where they may not have had it before.

 

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:

  1. Cancer therapies – Therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can harm sperm, leading to permanent sterility and infertility.
  2. Prostate or testicular surgery – Men’s reproductive organs can be damaged during testicular surgery or a prostatectomy which can then affect sperm production.
  3. Vasectomy – Sometimes circumstances change. To preserve fertility and prevent the need for reversal surgery, consider banking semen before the procedure.
  4. High risk occupations – Exposure to chemicals, radiation, extreme heat and other severe working conditions can lead to male infertility.
  5. Professional sportsmen (especially rugby players, cyclists and hockey players) – Hours of intense training, as well as impact on the testes of professional sportsmen may negatively affect fertility.
  6. Use of assisted reproductive technologies – Couples using fertility medication, surrogacy, artificial insemination and IVF might want to conceive under more controlled conditions. Banking semen contributes to this.
  7. Absence while trying to conceive – Should a male partner be called away from home due to work commitments or other unforeseen circumstances, storing semen means that attempts to conceive – particularly when working with reproductive specialists – can continue.

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/

 

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