I Froze My Sperm (and you should too).
Do you have cancer? Nope. Are you getting a vasectomy? Nope. Are you a member of the military? Nope. Are you employed at a high-risk job? Well, I guess I could spill a hot latte on my genitals…Doesn’t count? Ok, Nope. Other Reason?
How about we all might be headed towards a sperm-less future.
It’s scary, but it may be true. Last summer, a meta-analysis of studies in which researchers collected sperm in western men (42,935 men from 50 countries from 1973 to 2011) concluded sperm density has declined 52.4 percent since 1973 and total sperm counts are down nearly 60%. At the current rate, we should expect sperm counts to be down to 2 million per milliliter by the year 2034. (Low sperm count is considered under 15 million).
The reason we’re not all feeling the effects yet is two-fold. First off, there is a lot of redundancy built into reproduction (i.e. you make a lot of sperm, and you only need one). Secondly, young people are waiting longer and longer to have kids or choosing not to have kids, so infertility on a mass scale may be a problem my generation has yet to encounter.
The cause of increasing male infertility isn’t clear. The obesity epidemic certainly hasn’t helped. Many experts also think the modern rise of plastics and the hormone-mimicking chemicals they’re made up of might have a role to play. Even EMF from electronic devices may be compromising men’s fertility.
Though scientists aren’t exactly sure what’s causing the drop, there are a few proven ways you can do to keep your little guys swimming strong:
- Maintain a healthy BMI.
- Exercise frequently.
- Eat good — lots of veggies.
- Don’t smoke or drink heavily; Avoid drugs.
- Use a condom, get tested every 3–6 months for STIs if you are sexually active.
- Keep your balls cool. Switch to boxers.
- Move your cell phone to your back pocket and stop frying your junk with your laptop battery.
- Avoid endocrine‑disrupting chemicals in plastics and household products.
Even if you followed all these rules to a T, there’s always the chance of something horrible happening to your testes. A gruesome chainsaw accident, motorcycle crash, or mistimed barbwire hurdle. With lifetime injury and mortality rates so high for men, why take a chance?
With the beauty of modern technology, you can freeze your genetic code in liquid nitrogen cooled tanks at a temperature of -196 Celsius. They keep the tanks in a high-security facility with 24-hour surveillance, advanced fire monitoring, and suppression, even F5 tornado protection. It’s good to know you can still experience the miracle of fatherhood in a post-apocalyptic world.
My process was simple. I just filled out some forms telling the storage facility who gets my semen in the event of my death, submitted an STD test and received a cute little box in the mail a day later.
After, uh, making the collection, you send the box using FedEx Overnight to the University of Illinois Andrology Laboratory where they process and analyze the sample. If everything looks good they add a cryobuffer to the sperm to protect it during freezing and package the specimen in four 1mL cryovials. The sperm is then frozen and moved to long-term storage at ReproTech’s cryostorage facility. The yearly storage fees are generally only a few hundred dollars a year and a properly cryogenically frozen specimen can remain viable for 2–3000 years! If you pay your storage fees up front, who knows, maybe you’ll end up with a crime-fighting cyber-child in a few millennia.