Oldest Semen Sample Stored, Still Active For Use

Semen banks are now commercially used and found all over the world. They are used to store semen from donors that helps different people pick their children from when suffering from disorders that disallow them to conceive on their own. The first ever practical use of such an operation was back in 1968, where a semen was stored in lab in Sydney.

This trial was not used on human back then, but was first used to impregnate a total of 34 Merino Ewes. The lifespan of semen storage was an average of 12 month only. However, a recent observation done by Simon de Graaf, an associate professor from the Sydney Institute of Agriculture and School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney changed the views on this method.

According to Dr. Simon, “This demonstrates the clear viability of long-term frozen storage of semen. The results show that fertility is maintained despite 50 years of frozen storage in liquid nitrogen. The lambs appear to display the body wrinkle that was common in Merinos in the middle of last century, a feature originally selected to maximize skin surface area and wool yields. That style of Merino has since largely fallen from favor as the folds led to difficulties in shearing and increased risk of fly strike.”

This proves that the semen used is the oldest sample to be ever used for semen storage and is still available and well working.