The Scottish musician, who did not want to be named, had his sperm frozen when he was 21, before starting chemotherapy treatment for cancer, as doctors warned him he would become infertile.
After his sperm had been kept in cold storage for 26 years and 243 days, his partner underwent in-vitro fertilisation in 2010. “It’s quite a big deal for a woman to take that on,” he said. The couple gave birth to a girl and a boy the following year. He was 47 and his partner was 37. Now 54, he knew he held a world record, but did not want to go public.
The previous world record holder, Alex Powell, had had his sperm frozen for 23 years and the story was reported around the globe. He was also about to undergo chemotherapy.
But the musician learnt he could be listed anonymously in Guinness World Records, and he agreed to speak to one newspaper to highlight how long sperm can be frozen and then used to produce healthy children. “For people going through chemotherapy, they should keep hope,” he told The Times.
Marco Gaudoin, director of the GCRM medical clinic where the treatment took place, said that frozen sperm could theoretically be stored “indefinitely”.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority claims sperm can be frozen for more than 40 years, but that not all sperm survive the process.
It has to be frozen for at least six months before it can be used for treatment, to screen the donor for infections.