• * The center of assisted medical procreation of the CHU St Pierre is specialised in reproductive medicine. Reference center: quality label ISO 9001 obtained in 2008 and accredited by the AFMPS (Agence Fédérale des Médicaments et Produits de Santé).

Spermatozoa can be frozen and kept for several years. This technique, called “cryopreservation”, preserves samples in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. 


Sperm freezing 

The cryopreservation of sperm can be very useful in some cases, especially:

  • to preserve spermatozoa when the patient has to undergo cancer treatment or surgery that may render him sterile;
  • also, to relieve stress in a patient who has difficulty masturbating and thus avoid the cancellation of a cycle of insemination or oocyte retrieval from his partner.

The technique consists of putting the sperm in contact with a cryoprotectant. The treated sample is packaged in straws, labelled and preserved in dedicated liquid nitrogen tanks.


The sperm doesn’t deteriorate over time but freezing may lead to partial death of the spermatozoa. Belgian law imposes a preservation period of 10 years maximum, which can be renewed every year after this deadline.



Liquid nitrogen tank



Straws of frozen sperm



Plan du site CHU Saint Pierre - Bâtiment 200, 5è étage . Département de Gynécologie-Obstétrique

Centre de Fécondation In vitro - 322, Rue Haute - Bruxelles Tel +32(0)2 535 3406 Fax +32(0)2 535 3409