London (Agencies): A number of British combatants posted in war-hit Afghanistan are said to be freezing their sperm in case they are killed or maimed.

The British Army has paid a private company to store sperm samples as an "insurance policy"; wives and girlfriends would use the semen to become pregnant if their loved ones are killed or can no longer father children, The Sun reported.

In fact, the procedure follows after the Ministry of Defence issued a memo asking that private sperm freezing and storage for a year could cost as much as 1,000 pounds.

"The MoD provides all military personnel with pre- deployment advice on fertility preservation," said a MoD spokesman.

One 28-year-old Army wife remarked, "This practice is more common than you think. Army wives and girlfriends already have to deal with their partners maybe not coming home. An added torment is that their dreams of a child are also shattered.