Every man is a millionaire! Yes, that’s right. But before you start checking your bank balance, let’s tell you that we mean it in terms of sperm count! The normal sperm density/concentration ranges from 16 million to 208 million sperms (106 per ml) whereas total sperm numbers range from 39 million to 701 million sperms (106 per ejaculate)1. But despite these numbers, not many men are aware that they too can be prone to infertility. However, the silver lining is that there are ways to address these concerns while planning a baby for the future.

In recent years, women delaying their motherhood plans to prioritize their careers or themselves, isn’t unheard of. With changing times, men too have been opting to delay their fatherhood if they are not yet ready. Therefore, to assist them in this endeavor and overcome infertility anxieties, services like LifeCell’s SpermVault help bank their sperm for future use. Sperms are frozen through cryo-preservation and stored until such time when they can be retrieved for ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) for conception.

But what about the quality of the frozen sperm? Do all of them remain fast-moving and sufficiently motile for a successful conception? If such questions have been bogging your mind, then let us give you some clarity of thought.

If you have opted for or are thinking of freezing your sperms lately, here’s a detailed look into the technology that goes into ensuring that your best swimmers are chosen for the process.

What Happens To The Sperm Sample?

Before we delve deeper into the double density gradient configuration, let us get a basic understanding of the SpermVault process.

Once you sign up for LifeCell’s SpermVault program, you’ll be given a sample collection kit box. You can collect your sperm sample from the comfort of your home by following the instructions.

Upon successful collection, the sample is shipped under complete privacy to our labs. The sample collection kit box comes with free shipping by LifeCell. Once in the lab, the sample is taken for a semen analysis - SpermScore. This comprehensive sperm test is WHO compliant and tests 11 sperm parameters & 14 sperm health conditions. You’ll be able to view your SpermScore test’s expert-reviewed SMART report within 24 hours!

Thereafter, the sperm sample undergoes advanced processing where healthy sperms are filtered before being sent for cryo-preservation. It stays here until a retrieval is requested. The advanced processing technology that is used for filtering the healthy sperms is called Double Density Gradient Centrifugation.

What is Double Density Gradient Centrifugation?

The double density gradient centrifugation is a process through which slow moving or non-motile sperms get filtered and removed. This ensures good sperm quality as only actively motile sperm are concentrated and selected for storage. Thus, increasing the chances of conception.

The process also removes the majority of sperms with higher DNA damage, like denaturation or fragmentation. Such damages to the DNA can have an adverse effect on male fertility and thereby affect the embryo development or lead to infertility2. The DDGC process allows recovery of sperms with relatively higher DNA integrity, which, in turn, assures low genetic defects in the newborn3.

How Does Double Density Gradient Centrifugation (DDGC) Work?

Centrifugation is a frequently used technique in laboratories. In this process, the molecules of different densities in a sample are separated by spinning them in a solution, at high speed in a centrifugal rotor4. In a double density gradient centrifugation, 2 layers of gradient separation is achieved by centrifuging the sample twice, at different speeds. 

SpermScore & SpermVault uses the double density gradient centrifugation along with a specialized, sterile colloidal suspension to extract a high concentration of motile sperm5.

The specialized suspension used for the double density gradient centrifugation effectively removes cellular contaminants such as dead sperm, white cells, and other types of debris. Thereby, yielding a high concentration of motile sperm that can improve fertilization chances with healthy and even low-quality semen samples.

To Sum Up

Fatherhood is a life-changing moment. However, this journey can be more cherishable only if you are fully prepared to welcome your baby, at the right time!

Choosing to freeze your sperm is a viable option. However, concerns about the processes involved in ensuring high-quality sperm for storage can also be valid. With  the double density gradient centrifugation method, we get to yield the best quality of motile sperm that is free of any contaminants. Thereby, putting your mind at ease when the final output is sent for cryo-preservation.

So, now you can choose to freeze your sperm until the time you are ready to take the plunge into parenthood.