Why more US men are freezing their sperm

Business Insider US
More men are freezing their sperm.

  • More men are freezing their sperm, reported The New York Post. 
  • While some are doing it as an "insurance policy" before a vasectomy, others are freezing sperm for health reasons - sperm quality ages and can lead to genetic mutations or infertility issues.
  • Sperm freezing is just the latest trend to rise from millennials' delay in marriage and childbearing.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Women aren't the only ones feeling the tick of time.

Men, too, are facing the pressure of the biological clock - and they're freezing their sperm as a result, Marisa Dellatto reported for The New York Post.

Elizabeth Cohen also reported on the trend for CNN back in 2016, citing health reasons as a major driver: Studies have shown that as sperm age, they develop genetic mutations which can increase the risk of psychiatric disorders like autism as well as birth defects, she wrote.

At the time, William Hudson, who froze his sperm at age 28, told Cohen the trend was "rare" and "small."

Three years later, Dr. Mark Goldstein, professor and surgeon-in-chief of male reproductive surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, told Dellatto he's seen an increase in patients who want their sperm tested and frozen. Men also see a decline in sperm quality as they age, contributing to infertility issues in nearly half of couples, he said.

While some millennial men Dellatto spoke to are freezing their sperm before getting a vasectomy so they can stress less during sex, others said they're doing it because they want to have kids - just not right now.

Med school student Felipe Bolivar, 28, told Dellatto he and his girlfriend chose sperm freezing over egg freezing because it was cheaper and an easier procedure.

According to, the cost of sperm freezing can range from $250 (R4,000) to $1,300 (R20,000).

Sperm freezing is symptomatic of the fact that American millennials are getting married and having kids later in life, taking more time to find the right partner and prioritizing financial success.

The median age of first marriage in the US is 27 for women and 29 for men, Business Insider's Mark Abadi reported, citing the US Census Bureau. In 1980, for comparison, the median age was 22 for women and 25 for men.

And those who have found the right partner are waiting longer in their relationships to get married - 4.9 years on average, INSIDER's Kristin Salaky reported, citing a 2017 study from Bridebook.

Consequently, the US birthrate is at its lowest in 32 years, Bill Chappell for NPR reported, citing a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More 30-something women are having babies than women in their 20s for the first time ever - a difference that grew in 2018, according to the CDC report.

As millennials delay childbearing, methods to help the process are becoming more popular. Egg freezing has boomed in recent years to the point where tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google offer it as a benefit for female employees, Chris Weller previously reported for Business Insider.

And egg freezing services are popping up to accommodate the rising interest, like the new fertility studio Trellis in New York City, which Business Insider's Katie Warren toured in November 2018.

So, while millennials are putting off having kids for a variety of reasons, one thing is clear: Sperm freezing is the latest in their series of efforts to delay time.

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