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A fertility clinic is offering Ukrainian soldiers free sperm freezing in case they are killed or suffer severe injuries while fighting

A nurse takes blood specimen at IVMEDA nurse prepares to take a blood specimen at the IVMED fertility clinic in Kyiv.

Dominika Zarzycka/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • A Kyiv fertility clinic is offering free sperm-freezing services to Ukrainian soldiers, per the IBT.
  • An average of five to six soldiers a week are using the service, the clinic’s chief doctor said.
  • Soldiers are taking precautions in case they are killed or sustain major injuries while fighting.

Ukrainian soldiers are taking up an offer from a Kyiv fertility clinic to freeze their sperm to make sure they can still have children in the eventuality they sustain severe injuries on the battlefield, or die in combat.

An average of five to six soldiers a week are using IVMED’s free sperm-freezing service, the fertility clinic’s chief doctor Galino Strelko said in an interview with the International Business Times.

“We are offering semen freezing to help soldiers live a normal life,” Strelko said, per the IBT.

Cryopreservation and IVF are also being offered free of charge by the fertility clinic to couples where both the husband and wife are serving in the military, according to the IBT.

Sperm cryopreservation, also referred to as sperm banking or sperm freezing, involves placing specimens in small vials inside storage freezers that contain liquid nitrogen. It’s often seen as an “insurance policy” against potential infertility problems or the death of a male partner.

Strelko told the IBT that it can be reassuring for soldiers going to war to know that they can take action to have biological children regardless of what happens to them on the front line.

“For some people, it may even offer psychological support because they understand that they can have children even in case of death,” Strelko said.

It’s also reassuring for those who might sustain injuries to their sexual organs in battle, she added.

“Infertility [among soldiers], after they return to normal life, is also twice higher than the standard population,” Strelko said, per the IBT.

Soldiers returning from the battlefield can also face exhaustion, overheating, and hypothermia, which can also impact their ability to reproduce naturally, Strelko said, per the IBT.

Strelko said the service can help address Ukraine’s declining population, which the Population Reference Bureau notes has been plummeting for decades.

Prior to the war, Ukraine already had one of the lowest birth rates in the world, NPR reported.

Now, Ukrainian demographers predict that war, deaths, and mass emigration will cause it to fall even lower, per NPR.

But sperm cryopreservation will only marginally correct Ukraine’s population decline, Strelko said, saying its primary impact will be improving the quality of life of soldiers and their families.

Insider’s Bethany Dawson previously reported that Russia had approved funding for sperm freezing for those called up to fight in Ukraine.

According to The Times of London, quoting local Russian media, there had been a surge in men headed to the front freezing their sperm so that their wives can access it if they are killed in action.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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