Human semen cryopreservation has a long history that stretches back over 200 years to the first recorded experiments involving cooling followed by successful rewarming of spermatozoa in snow. Despite this early success, it was not until the fortuitous discovery of glycerol as a cryoprotectant, and the subsequent live birth of a calf in the early 1950s, that cryopreservation of human semen for assisted reproduction became a realistic option. The ability to store human semen greatly improved the flexibility of donor insemination treatment,resulting in the first live human births in 1953 and donor insemination (DI) became a mainstay of fertility treatment for the next 40 years. More recently, sperm cryopreservation has become an essential part of fertility preservation for young men who face the possibility of sterility as a consequence of the treatments given to combat cancer.
Textbook of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Laboratory and Clinical Perspectives p. 311-321