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Frozen sperm cells work as well as fresh for fertility treatments

The largest study of its kind has revealed that cryopreserved sperm are equally effective for intrauterine insemination as fresh.

Published Jul 5, 2022 9:03 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 28 2022 3:27 PM CDT

The results of the largest study of its kind have been presented at the 38th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).

Frozen sperm cells work as well as fresh for fertility treatments 01 |

The study analyzed 5335 intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles performed for fertility treatments between 2004 and 2001 at the practice of Dr. Panagiotis Cherouveim from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The results show that cryopreserved sperm do not produce inferior outcomes for IUI treatments compared to fresh sperm.

Sperm are most commonly stored with cryopreservation, which involves a six-month quarantine period in which samples are screened for infections. Concerns regarding sperm viability after being thawed include potentially affected motility, structure, and DNA content. However, both fresh and frozen samples resulted in similar pregnancy rates, though the frozen samples had a marginally longer time-to-pregnancy, and minor differences were observed in a small subgroup receiving specific medications after more than one IUI cycle.

"Although, specific subgroups might benefit from fresh sperm utilization and time-to-pregnancy might be shorter with fresh than frozen sperm, patients should be counseled about the non-inferiority of frozen sperm. No detrimental effect of sperm cryopreservation on IUI outcomes was noted," said Dr. Cherouveim.

"The fact that our data did not reveal any significant difference in success between the utilization of fresh ejaculated and frozen sperm, except in a subgroup of patients given oral ovulation-inducing agents, is very reassuring to all involved," Dr. Cherouveim continued.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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