Egg-freezing IVF clinics are now trying to cash in on MEN by offering similar treatment for sperm to put fatherhood on hold
- Men are have the chance to freeze their sperm like women can freeze their eggs
- Some clinics offer this from as little as £150 with storage costs of £300 per year
- The majority of men don’t need to as sperm quality drops only slightly with age
- But experts say it could prove invaluable for anyone who is suffering from cancer
Private clinics where women can freeze their eggs have begun offering a similar service to men who want to put fatherhood on ice.
Freezing eggs, which allows younger women to boost their chances of motherhood in later life, costs £8,000 on average.
The process combats the decline in egg quality – but experts say there is no need for the vast majority of men to freeze their sperm.
Its quality only drops slightly with age and older men can easily conceive children naturally.
A snapshot investigation by the Daily Mail discovered London clinics offering sperm-freezing.
Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield, said the process can be beneficial for men with conditions such as cancer, where treatment can harm fertility, or those in high-risk roles including in the military.
Men are being given the chance to freeze their sperm by clinics in London, a Daily Mail investigation has shown (file photo)
He added: ‘But for the remainder, I don’t see it has any real purpose. Once sperm has been frozen, it will almost certainly need to be used in an IVF cycle.’
Professor Pacey said young men freezing their sperm are committing their future partner to undergoing IVF without needing to for ‘probably only a marginal gain’.
Kevin McEleny, a male fertility specialist at the University of Newcastle, said: ‘For most men who have a normal sperm quality, storing sperm for the future will not be necessary and it will not be needed for fertility treatment.’
Gennet City Fertility charges £360 to freeze sperm and store it for 12 months, then £360 a year thereafter.
Medical director Dr Malini Uppal said: ‘Just like women, men have a biological clock too, so sperm-freezing should be a consideration for men wishing to delay fatherhood.’
She added that men undergoing a vasectomy or changing sex might want to freeze their sperm.
Harley Street Fertility Clinic charges £150 for sperm-freezing and £300 for annual storage.
It also offers a sperm-freezing package for £550.
Sarah Norcross of the Progress Educational Trust, a fertility charity, said: ‘The quantity and quality of a man’s sperm may decrease somewhat with age, but most men over the age of 35 will continue to be fertile.
Experts say while most men don’t need to freeze their sperm, it could be useful for those with conditions such as cancer or in high-risk jobs like the military (file photo)
‘We can all think of male celebrities who have fathered children naturally at an advanced age, such as Charlie Chaplin and Mick Jagger, who were both aged 73.’
Studies suggest sperm quality declines by a small amount with age, with evidence of a very small increased chance of autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in children born to older fathers, and a slightly increased risk of miscarriage for these men’s partners.
Dr Geetha Venkat, director of Harley Street Fertility Clinic, said: ‘It is known that men produce sperm throughout their lives, unlike women who have a limited number of eggs.
‘However, male sperm parameters decline with age, as many studies demonstrate.
‘For these reasons, we would advise men to freeze their sperm when they are younger in case it is needed in later life.’