There are many causes why young men undergo medical, surgical or radiotherapy treatment, which may affect their fertility.
They must know, especially the young men of reproductive age, with or without partner, the possibility of freezing their sperm in Sperm Banks to preserve their fertility in case some treatment produce irreversible sterility.
It is important to know that several ejaculations are needed in order to freeze enough doses; therefore, it is recommended to come to the centre sufficiently in advance.
The semen samples properly identified, once frozen and deposited in the Sperm Bank at -196º, are kept for an indefinite period of time, according to the Law 14/2006 about Assisted Reproductive Techniques. The patient may request to use his samples and, depending on the semen quality and the fertility status of the partner, the most suitable assisted reproduction technique is used: Artificial Insemination (AI), In Vitro fertilization or Sperm Microinjection (ICSI).
He may also request to remove his samples from the centre in order to be used or kept wherever he wishes, as well as to request its destruction at any time. Under no circumstances can the samples be used by other people.
On the other hand, the semen bank will contact the patient every year, in order to renew the maintenance authorization. If there is no authorization for two consecutive years, the semen samples will be thawed.
The freezing-thawing procedure of semen samples represents a changing loss of the sperm motility. The decrease in the sperm quality depends essentially on its state when frozen. It is no wonder that the patients could have a low number of sperm and/or poor motility when they come to the centre, due to the stress of knowing that they have a problem or because they have already started the medical treatment. However, with current techniques in the field of Reproductive Medicine, only a small amount of sperm is needed to achieve pregnancy.
According to the Law 14/2006 the patient may allow his partner to use the samples until 12 months after his death, as long as he has expressed his consent in due legal form. Otherwise, the samples will be removed.