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Anyone got any experience of freezing partner's sperm?

(5 Posts)
GreenGateGeorge Mon 21-Jan-13 22:18:06

Hello- just wondering if anyone can shed any light on this since it's a bit random for answers on generic fertility sites.

I'm planning to start a family in 2014 - a bit early to start thinking about things maybe but the rationale here is that my husband is in the army and goes to Afghanistan in about January next year (or sooner if the army changes its mind). The last time he went on ops we talked about freezing his sperm, essentially, in case he got his legs blown off (it's quite common to also lose your balls). It turned out that on his last tour he had a job which didn't involve him going on patrol, but this time he most probably will, and is therefore in more danger so I'm more keen to do it this time. Obviously if he comes back in one piece we will do it the old fashioned way, but if not it's nice to have a back up! Husband has donated sperm before so if it's not needed it could be donated again. Money's not an issue, and I don't mind spending some cash on what is effectively insurance that we might not need, but I don't want to spend money on something that we might need but won't work.

I have no fertility issues that I know about (fairly regular periods, in the ideal weight range, family history pretty good) so I was wondering if anyone else has experience of using frozen sperm with a healthy partner? I've been told that it's likely that it would have to be via IVF, and I know people who've done that after partners' vasectomies, but not with any positive results.

If anyone can recommend a good facility in either Leeds/Yorkshire or London as well I'd appreciate it.

I'm very scared about having kids, but also scared about not being able to have them. Having taken the decision I now want to make sure I'm in control of as many variables as possible!

Thanks for any advice smile x

freelancescientist Wed 23-Jan-13 09:52:45

If you contact the fertility unit at cookridge hospital in Leeds (or probably any of the London Units but it will cost a bit more) they will arrange to bank a couple of samples of your partner's sperm before he goes away. I think you'll have to pay but it is not too expensive.
If his samples are normal you can have IUI with frozen sperm but if there is a limited supply sometimes IVF is recommended.
There was talk about the MOD paying for active servicemen to bank sperm as a lot were getting injuries to the groin but then the cutbacks hit and as far as I know it has not happened.
There is no harm in doing it and if you don't need it then you write to the clinic and ask them to discard it - you have nothing to lose except a couple of hundred quid!

scaevola Wed 23-Jan-13 10:03:39

Here's a list of places which store frozen sperm in UK. Prices seem to vary quite a bit, and you need to check exactly what's included. (I looked into this briefly when I had a last minute wobble before DH's vasectomy; but after 48hours dithering, the reasons for seeking the operation in the first place reasserted themselves, so I didn't pursue it).

If he is injured but alive, there will be no problem in your accessing the sperm as he will be around to consent. You may want to consider also the possibility of whether you might ever consider a posthumous baby, in which case you may need specific and legally clear authorisation to permit you to use the sperm. I don't know what the requirements are for that, but you may need specialist advice.

GreenGateGeorge Mon 28-Jan-13 18:31:30

Thanks, we have already looked at legal issues (we have lawyers in the family) and we're completely covered on that front- I have enduring power of attorney and all sorts, and he's got a fairly comprehensive will that is still in place from the last tour. We put in a clause about use of sperm despite not actually freezing any at the time.
The MOD are unlikely to pay for anything whatsoever- husband is on a weird contract so we're entitled to very little of even the basic perks, so we're fairly happy to pay. As I said money isn't the real issue here but I don't want to spend hundreds of pounds if there's only a tiny chance of it working.

The MOD seem to think that the "combat nappy" which is essentially a piece of kevlar that they strap over their pants, plus anti microbial underwear is enough protection, but they don't cover everything. Accidents happen.

freelancescientist Mon 28-Jan-13 19:25:09

I'd go for it. There are specific HFEA forms your DH must fill in when banking sperm and they deal specifically with storage and use of sperm posthumously and also in the case of mental incapacitation - he just needs to make sure he names you as his partner! Have a look at the website and specifically at the sperm storage pages. Any clinic that banks sperm has to be licenced by the HFEA in the UK and there are strict guidelines about consent.
I don't think you'll find it horrendously expensive, and it is worth it for peace of mind.

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