One of many false assumptions regarding infertility is that the problem usually lies with the woman. But medical experts say difficulties conceiving are shared equally by men and women, and there’s usually more than one cause, such as various medical conditions affecting fertility.
Many couples in Minnesota and elsewhere who want to start a family “someday” are becoming more aware of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to increase their chances of having children later in life. Just as some women freeze eggs for later use, more and more men are considering freezing sperm.
Reasons to freeze sperm
The process is safe and reliable, according to fertility experts. Samples are typically screened for sexually transmitted diseases and analyzed for sperm count, morphology (proper shape), and motility (proper movement). Once prepared, clinics store samples in a liquid hydrogen tank at nearly -200 degrees Celsius. Doctors say samples can be stored indefinitely. Many reasons exist for going through this process, including:
- If you are undergoing hormone replacement therapy, which can decrease sperm count
- Undergoing cancer treatment
- Being diagnosed with any chronic health condition
- Having a physically dangerous job or one that exposes you to hazardous chemicals
- Having a vasectomy
Some insurance plans cover the procedure, and the cost varies. Depending upon the clinic, the initial process generally runs from $250 to $775, plus annual storage fees of around $250.
Understand the legal issues surrounding donated sperm
Many men freeze sperm to start or grow their own families. Some choose to donate frozen samples to help others with fertility challenges. Many couples pursuing in vitro fertilization (IVF) have no option but to use donated sperm.
Laws related to donations are limited in scope in Minnesota and other states. Without the necessary consent forms and documentation, unintended parental rights issues can arise. If you plan to donate or receive donated sperm, it’s advisable to consult a knowledgeable attorney specializing in assisted reproduction law.