Mayo Clinic: Men’s Health Center


Cryopreservation (often referred to as sperm banking) is a procedure in which you provide an ejaculated semen specimen to be stored for later use. Common reasons that a man would choose to undergo cryopreservation include:

  • Prior to undergoing vasectomy
  • Prior to beginning cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy
  • Prior to gender affirmation surgery
  • Prior to undergoing surgery that may affect his ability to ejaculate

Description of procedure

If you choose to bank sperm, he will be asked to give 3 separate ejaculated specimens ideally at least 2-3 days apart to ensure the best quantity and quality. If you are at unable to return for 3 separate visit that far apart, you can give all the specimens at the same time, however the quantity of sperm you will be able to store will likely be significantly less. The sperm stored would then be frozen (preserved) for use at a later date. There is no time limit to how long you can store sperm, however the quality and quantity tends to degrade slightly over time. When you choose to use the sperm, it will need to be used for either intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization. Most men who are able to provide a normal amount of sperm can use it for intrauterine insemination. If your sperm counts are extremely low, it may need to be used for in-vitro fertilization.


The cost for storing sperm varies depending on the sperm bank that you choose, however the cost is typically around $250 a year. Your sperm will be stored until you submit a request in writing to dispose of it. If you do not pay the storage fees, your sperm will be stored for up to one year, after which it will be disposed. If you need your sperm transferred to another facility, the transfer fee is approximately $200 if it is transferred domestically and $1000 if it is transferred internationally.

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