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Attitudes towards disposition of cryopreserved sperm in the event of death
Division of Urology, UConn Health, Farmington, Connecticut, USA
Aug  2023 (Vol.  30, Issue  4, Pages( 11613 - 11618)
PMID: 37633289


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  • Introduction:

    To evaluate patient preference for sperm disposition in case of death based on demographic factors and infertility etiology.

    Materials and methods:

    This retrospective cohort study was performed at a university hospital-affiliated fertility center. Charts of 550 men undergoing cryopreservation for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) between 2016-2019 were reviewed to create a descriptive dataset. Patients previously signed consent forms stating their preference for sperm transfer to their partner or disposal in the event of their subsequent death. Patients undergoing sperm cryopreservation for the purpose of ART were analyzed to assess associations between demographic characteristics and etiology of infertility and their choice to either transfer sperm to their partner or discard.


    A total of 84.9% (342/403) of patients included in final analyses elected to transfer their sperm to their partner in the event of their death. Factors associated with a significantly increased likelihood to transfer versus discard included a male-factor infertility diagnosis compared to female-factor infertility diagnosis (transfer rate 89.3% vs. 79.9%; p = .022) and commercial insurance coverage versus non-commercial/no insurance coverage (transfer rate 86.3% vs. 75.0%, p = .029). No significant differences relating to age, race/ethnicity, occupation classification, marital status or duration of marriage, or prior paternity were found.


    A majority of male patients seeking sperm cryopreservation for ART elected to transfer their sperm to their partner if future death should occur. There does not appear to be a clear factor that would impact this decision based on demographic characteristics.