A crop of companies want to make sperm-freezing a routine procedure for young men, as employers start to offer it as a benefit. From a report: For decades, the conversation about waning fertility has been focused largely on women. Think of Marisa Tomei stomping on the floorboards of a front porch to emulate her biological clock ticking in “My Cousin Vinny.” More employers cover the cost of cryogenic egg freezing as a workplace benefit. Recently, a small group of biotech startups have hatched, dedicated to what they say is an underserved market: male fertility. Armed with recent scientific research suggesting that the quality of sperm is declining in the West, the companies are trying to make sperm-freezing a routine procedure for young, healthy men, one covered by health insurance and free of stigma.
“My fundamental belief is that if the product is affordable, this should be a no-brainer for every man,” says Khaled Kteily, the 32-year-old founder of Legacy, one of the companies that Mr. Alam used to freeze his sperm. “I believe that in the future,” he adds, “this will be something that parents will buy for their kids as a not-so-subtle gift.” The push to make a case for its business is starting to catch on. The company recently struck a deal to eventually provide free sperm testing and storage to all active duty service members in the U.S. military, starting with the Navy SEALs, of which there are about 1,200 a year, and expanding next to all special operations forces. The Navy didn’t respond to a request for comment. Soldiers regularly experience risky situations and time away from their partners, says Ellen Gustafson, a Navy wife and co-founder of the Military Family Coalition, a nonprofit that advocates for coverage of fertility medicine for members of the armed forces.