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Frozen Sperm, Fresh Sperm Equally Effective in IVF Treatments, Study Says

May 19, 2004
KaiserNetwork.org

Infertile couples have an equal chance of achieving a successful pregnancy using either frozen sperm or fresh sperm during in vitro fertilization treatments, according to a Mayo Clinic study presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, the Boston Globe reports (Biskup, Boston Globe, 5/18). The researchers examined 1,900 IVF attempts at the Mayo Clinic between 1993 and 2003, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The chance for achieving a successful live birth from a single collection of eggs was 51.6% using fresh sperm and 53.1% using frozen sperm, according to the study (Lerner, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5/14). Infertile couples now can "rest easily" knowing that the chances of pregnancy are not decreased if fresh sperm is not available, according to the Globe (Boston Globe, 5/14). Alan Thornhill, director of the Mayo Clinic's IVF lab, said, "Without this data, we were concerned that frozen sperm might reduce the birth rate," adding, "Now, we believe that concern is unwarranted" (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 5/14). Thornhill added, "IVF can be a physically, financially and emotionally draining process for couples, and [the] use of frozen sperm eliminates the pressure of obtaining sperm on a specific day and unnecessary risk to the woman due to ovarian hyperstimulation" (Reuters, 5/12). However, IVF clinics still prefer to use fresh sperm because freezing and thawing reduces sperm motility and number, according to the Globe (Boston Globe, 5/18).

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