Myths & Misconceptions

8 Myths & Misconceptions About Semen Vitrification

Presently like never before, Vitrification of semen is gaining popularity in research and discussion. Many researchers are working for vitrification of semen/sperm in their own specific manner. As a consequence, Myth & Misconception about Semen Vitrification is also blooming in the infertility industry.

Till date, researchers working for semen vitrification are not unified. That is the reason, Myth & Misconception about Semen Vitrification are rampant online and over the discussion and to some extent even in journals.

Before trusting online information or going through journals, it is better to cross-examine yourself for some basic questions: What is the source of information? Is the person getting some benefit from products or administration related to their data? Does it sound true according to the evidence provided? Does the person or organization have enough skill and availability of research material? ETC.

Here are some common Myth & Misconception about Semen Vitrification. Many of them  need rectification to make semen/sperm vitrification useful and approachable to everyone. To design a publicity, it is an strategy to make everything costly directly or indirectly. Our aim is to clarify many confusion related to semen vitrification.

  1. Vitrification of semen is a complicated & high end procedure;      Rather it is much easy to perform  in comparison to conventional semen freezing. Even it does not require any costly equipment like programmable freezer.
  2. Vitrification  of semen is only possible in very low volume, eg – 20 micro liters;    We had most of our experiment in 0.6 mL or 1.6 mL. And have enough evidence to prove that vitrification of semen is possible in optimum volume.
  3. Vitrification of semen is possible only with very high concentration of sucrose;   This concept has been carried forward from embryo/ oocyte vitrification. At present we are vitrifying semen with a final sucrose concentration of 13.7 m Mol. And we are in process to reduce even more. Even the total concentrations of ingredients are less than used for conventional freezing of semen.
  4. Vitrification of semen is successful only with high concentration of Human Serum Albumin (H.S.A.);   Vitrification of semen/sperm can be effectively performed with a medium without H.S.A. or any animal protein. Use of animal or human component should be always discouraged at every level. In my opinion Covid-19 has given us a lesson that a virus can hit the whole world in any mode. And H.S.A. is a preferred vector for all disease causing micro-organism.
  5. Vitrification of semen yield in poor motility;   This is true, when you use very high concentration of ingredients for vitrification.  With judicious use of ingredients post thaw motility remains good enough. Moreover a very good progressive motility is easy to obtained. Rather I noted that motility following vitrification-thawing is better in comparison to conventional freezing.
  6. Vitrification of semen need ultra fast cooling rate;    This theory is being favored by reserchers who are trying to keep the volume very low (e.g.- 20 micro liter). We are in endeavor to optimize the cooling rate by adjusting the wall thickness of cryovial. Even diameter of cryovial is helpful in regulating cooling rate.   
  7. Vitrification of semen; How to do thawing?  According to our observation even thawing is boiling water gives a good result. Thawing at 45 or 40 degree Centigrade is also effective. According to my assumption thawing should be as fast as cooling. This is the way we can prevent intracellular and extracellular ice crystal formation.
  8. Vitrification of semen associated with high risk of contamination;   Risk of contamination is apparently high, if we are processing the vitrification in open carrier, e.g. – copper loop, grid of microscope, etc.   It can be effectively avoided by vitrifying the semen sample in closed carrier.  We performed vitrification is doubled wall cryovial. Which is strong enough to sustain sudden change of temperature.

Variability In outcome:

It is true all the time I am not getting best result. Sometime better than conventional freezing and even sometime inferior. But worth to mention; it also happen with conventional semen freezing.

Factor affect outcome of semen vitrification:

  • Un-liquefied or viscous semen. That gives always very poor result. I think we should take a trial after liquefying the semen by different means.
  • The semen which yield unsatisfactory after slow conventional freezing, also give poor result with semen vitrification.
  • The semen, which gives good result with conventional slow freezing also gives better or best result with vitrification.

Somewhere it is frustrating to see information, which is misleading to some extent. I understand that science is meant to evolve new scope. But the innovation should be approachable and easy to execute. Also there should be a proper work-out to ease the procedure. Not like making any procedure complicated just to get high commercial benefit.


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