Semen of Spinal Cord Injured Men Freezes Reliably


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12 Scopus citations


The objectives of the present study were to: 1) determine the effect of cryopreservation on the percent and the grade of motility of sperm from spinal cord injured (SCI) men and 2) determine which method of freezing yields the best post-thaw motility in sperm from SCI men. Antegrade semen samples were obtained from 9 SCI subjects and 10 age-matched healthy control subjects. Motility in fresh samples was determined and cryopreservative medium was added to each sample. Aliquots of each sample were frozen according to three methods: 1) liquid nitrogen vapor only (V); 2) vapor for 12 minutes followed by submersion into liquid nitrogen (V+N2); and 3) direct submersion into liquid nitrogen (N2). Samples were frozen for 1 week, then thawed. The post-thaw percent and grade of motility was determined. The mean percent motility of fresh samples for SCI subjects (21.0%) was significantly lower than that for control subjects (55.7%). After thawing, the mean percent drop in motility for V, V+N2, and N2 for controls was 65.2%, 73.5%, and 79.4%, respectively, and for SCI subjects, it was 64.7%, 74.5%, and 81.6%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between control and SCI subjects by method of freezing. Vapor only as a freezing method was superior to all other methods for retention of sperm motility in both control and SCI subjects. We conclude that the semen of SCI men may be frozen reliably and that their sperm retain motility similar to that of normal men. Vapor only, being the most gentle method used, gives the best recovery of sperm motility in either group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-269
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Andrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • asthenospermia
  • Cryopreservation
  • electroejaculation
  • motility
  • paraplegia
  • sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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