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Another Side of Sperm Banking

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, December 31, 2013

When most people think of sperm banks they think about sperm donors, but there is another side to sperm banking that is very important; men who bank their sperm for their own use in the future.
Client Depositors are men who work with a clinic or sperm bank to cryopreserve their sperm for use in the future with a sexually intimate partner.

There are many reasons men utilize this service:

  • Banking after a cancer diagnosis, prior to treatment
  • Banking prior to a surgery that has a risk of affecting fertility
  • Banking prior to military deployment
  • Banking for IVF backup
  • Banking prior to transitioning for MTF transgender patients
  • Banking prior to vasectomy
  • Banking for security for men who have high risk careers such as firemen, policemen, etc.

If a couple is undergoing IVF and the male partner travels for work, is in the military or would not be available to produce a fresh sample for a cycle, banking is perfect option.

Sperm Banking for one’s own use is a straight forward process that requires minimal infectious disease testing, some paper work, and a storage contract. Most clinics and sperm banks will require some infectious disease testing in order to store the samples. Some clinics will store infectious samples in quarantine tanks separate from non-infectious samples for an additional fee.

If you are not local to a clinic or sperm bank that offers this service there are mail in sperm banking kits available that allow a man to produce a sample and send it to the clinic via overnight shipping.

Though this is a good option for those who are not local to a bank, it is always preferable to produce a sample on-site at a clinic to allow the staff to analyze, process, and freeze the sample to have the most surviving cells. Mail in kits will be analyzed, processed and frozen as soon as it is received but most of the sperm will not have survived the travel time, so this should only be used when necessary.

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