Social sperm freezing

Hum Reprod. 2021 Mar 18;36(4):833-839. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deaa373.


Increased paternal age has been associated with lower fertility and higher genetic risk for the offspring. One way to prevent these consequences is to freeze sperm at a young age. Social sperm freezing could be developed in a way similar to social oocyte freezing. The main difference between freezing oocytes and sperm is that social sperm freezing is much less focussed on fertility preservation and much more on avoiding increased genetic risk. Contrary to what some people seem to believe, sperm freezing is more complicated than it looks at first sight. This article considers three practical aspects: freezing, storage and testing. It is concluded that the remedy (cryopreservation) may itself cause damage to the quality of the spermatozoon and to its genetic integrity, thus undoing the possible benefits in terms of fertility and health of offspring.

Keywords: andrology / IUI / male infertility / semen analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Cryopreservation
  • Fertility
  • Freezing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oocytes
  • Semen Preservation*
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa*