There's a definite science behind sperm banking, and scientists have had decades to perfect cryopreservation. It's a fantastic option for many people who are trying to conceive, but dealing with frozen sperm presents its own challenges. For instance, how soon do you have to use sperm once it's thawed? As soon as the sample reaches room temperature, it's game on.
In the wild, sperm can stay viable for a few days in the right conditions. For instance, fresh sperm can live for up to five days inside a woman's body, according to WebMD. Even if you miss the ovulation window by a day or two, there's still a strong chance of insemination. In general, there is a little more margin for error with live sperm.
Sperm that have been previously frozen, however, don't have such a long lifespan. Thawed-out sperm can live for 24 hours at the most, according to The Sperm Bank of California. This makes predicting the time of ovulation much more important, because the window of conception is much smaller with sperm that has been frozen. Going through with the insemination process as soon as possible is crucial, because the sperm cannot be refrozen for later use. Once thawed, it's now or never for those sperm.
What other steps can you take to make insemination with thawed sperm more possible? When working with frozen sperm, an intrauterine insemination is about 2.5 times more likely to work than an intracervical insemination, according to Pacific Fertility Center. This is because sperm placed at the cervix entrance can get lost along the way, more or less. Basically, the intrauterine insemination method helps more sperm reach the fallopian tubes and boosts the chance of fertilization, according to the American Pregnancy Association. It's worth considering if frozen sperm is your best choice.
Fertility is such a personal topic, and your decisions will be based on your own health, your partner's health, and so many other factors. Working with a fertility specialist who works with frozen sperm regularly is a wise move. If you do choose to use thawed sperm, just remember to act fast.