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Fertilizing Capacity of Frozen Human Spermatozoa


MONTEGAZZA1 observed the survival of human spermatozoa after exposure to a temperature of − 15° C. He speculated that in the future, frozen semen might be used in animal husbandry and even proposed that a man dying on the battlefield might, by his wife, beget a legitimate child after his own death. Other workers2 have reported the survival of human spermatozoa; however, it was not until Polge, Smith and Parkes3 reported increased survival of frozen human spermatozoa employing glycerol as a protective agent that practical application seemed possible. Work in our laboratory4, recently, indicated that treatment with 10 per cent glycerol prior to freezing with ‘dry ice’ produced an average 67 per cent survival of human spermatozoa obtained from five young healthy men.

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    Montegazza, P., Rend. reale Instit. Lomb., 3, 183 (1866).

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    Parkes, A. S., Brit. Med. J., ii, 212 (1945).

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BUNGE, R., SHERMAN, J. Fertilizing Capacity of Frozen Human Spermatozoa. Nature 172, 767–768 (1953).

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