What is Sperm Banking?
It process of freezing sperm and storing it for future use. Samples of semen are collected and checked under a microscope in the laboratory to count sperm cells and find out how healthy they are. The sperm cells are then frozen and stored. Sperm banking is often used for men who want to have children after having treatment that may cause infertility, such as certain cancer treatments. Sperm banking is a type of fertility preservation. It is also called sperm cryopreservation.
Is it worth banking semen if the quality is not optimal?
With modern fertility treatments, it makes sense to bank sperm even if you have a low sperm count or poor motility. Pregnancy can be achieved with a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) that requires only one live sperm cell, which is injected into an egg. The embryos that develop can be placed into the woman’s uterus. Men with better semen quality may be able to use their samples to create a pregnancy via artificial intrauterine insemination — a procedure that is less expensive and less complicated than in vitro fertilization.
If semen quality is high enough to permit artificial insemination as a selected method of fertility treatment, the chance of a successful pregnancy increases with the number of samples you bank. More samples allow more insemination attempts. If the treatment is to be with vitro fertilization/ICSI, one sample may be enough, but it is still a good idea to store several samples. For each pregnancy that you desire, you should bank three to six specimens, depending on their quality.
Some cancer treatments might affect your fertility. Sperm banking is a way of storing your sperm for use in later fertility treatment.