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It is now routine to offer men the opportunity to bank sperm prior to medical treatments where there is a high risk of testicular damage. Some men also elect to bank sperm prior to vasectomy or before embarking on a high-risk activity, such as joining the armed services. This book examines the processes involved in banking sperm from sample production and storage, the subsequent treatment of the patient and the maintenance of the samples in storage, to the process of follow-up and the ultimate fate of frozen samples. Sperm Banking: Theory and Practice will be of particular interest to andrologists and embryologists involved in the running and establishment of sperm-banking services. The book will also be useful to medical and nursing professionals and counsellors involved in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions where there is a risk of infertility as a consequence of the treatment, including oncologists, hematologists and urologists.
In the UK, strict adherence to guidelines laid down by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has made the recruitment of sperm donors an arduous task. In donor insemination, the protection of the recipient and potential offspring from sexually transmitted and other inheritable disorders is paramount. When compared with embryos, the cryopreservation of sperm is usually relatively crude. Density gradient centrifugation (DGC) is almost universally accepted as the superior sperm preparation method for assisted reproductive techniques, donor insemination being no exception. Donor insemination provides an excellent research model. Several authors have used the system to examine the influence of semen parameters and sperm function testing on success rates. Donor insemination also provides an excellent tool to examine other factors governing success, for example, timing of inseminations and subtle female factors as the male gametes are of reasonably standardized quality.
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