Sperm banking may be considered for several circumstances:
- Prior to cancer-related therapies – Some treatments of lymphomas, testicular, or other types of cancer can frequently render male patients infertile. Storing sperm prior to treatment offers the patient the possibility of retaining his reproductive capabilities.
- Prior to testicular or prostate surgery – Sterility may occur following testicular surgery or prostatectomy. The option to store sperm prior to surgery helps preserve a man’s reproductive competence.
- Prior to a vasectomy – A man can choose to store sperm prior to a vasectomy to preserve his fertility potential and prevent the need for reversal surgeries in the event that circumstances change during a man’s lifetime.
- Prior to hormone replacement therapy – The use of Testosterone and other hormone replacement therapies can reduce and in some cases stop the production of sperm in the testicles.
- Prior to an upcoming fertility procedure – Storing sperm prior to reproductive procedures ensures its availability and reduces the stress of having to produce a specimen on demand. This will help when a husband’s schedule does not permit his availability or if you have anxiety issues.
- For high-risk occupational exposures – Studies have shown that on-the-job exposure to hazardous materials can have profound health consequences, including male infertility. High risk occupational exposures may include (but are not limited to):
- Men exposed to environmental toxins such as chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, lead, radiation, and an increasing list of agents used in everyday life.
- Athletes who risk testicular injury.
- Men in the military or first responder professionals.
- For Oligospermia (low sperm count) patients – If oligospermia has been diagnosed, pooling several previously banked sperm specimens can be used for one insemination and may increase the chance of pregnancy.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer we encourage you to call for information regarding cryopreservation services. Our experienced and dedicated staff are here to guide you and help you through the process of preserving your fertility. Exploring your fertility options now can potentially avoid financial and emotional distress later in life.
- What should you do after cancer diagnosis?
- Testicular Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s
- Childhood cancer
- How is male fertility affected by cancer?
- Restoring my fertility after cancer
- Recommend additional resources
What should you do after cancer diagnosis?
When one receives a cancer diagnosis they are mostly concerned with starting cancer treatment right away which is understandable. However, most don’t consider or have not received consultation about preserving their fertility. Even though young men might not think about having children at the time of their cancer diagnosis, it is important to discuss risks of becoming infertile and examine your options prior to cancer treatment.
What types of cancer affect male fertility?
Cancers that disturb the process to produce sperm will affect fertility. Undergoing treatments for cancer such as radiation, chemotherapy or surgery also carries the risk of temporary or permanent male infertility.
The most common type of cancer causing male infertility is testicular cancer. Seminoma, or cancer of the testis, is a well-known type of testicular cancer which is highly treatable. Most cases of testicular cancer in adult males are diagnosed when a nodule or swelling in the scrotum is discovered.
This cancer develops in the prostate gland, which is located in the male’s scrotum. Cancer treatment is based on how advanced the tumor is and may include surgery, radiation therapy and hormonal treatment.
Lymphoma and Hodgkin’s
This is a group of cancers that affect the lymphatic system in charge of the body’s immune system. Abnormal cells in the lymphatic system multiply and form a cell mass or tumor. Hodgkin’s disease or Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of lymphoma that develops from a specific abnormal B lymphocyte. Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer type in the US.
This cancer of the blood is treated with radiation therapy, which may adversely affect male fertility.
Boys undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, before reaching puberty may have fertility issues as adults. In the case of pre-pubescent cancer patients, testicular tissue cryopreservation is an excellent option. Transplanting the frozen-thawed testicular tissue back to the testes after cancer treatments may restore spermatogenesis (creation of sperm).
How is male fertility affected by cancer?
Depending on how far the cancer has progressed, the cancer itself can be the cause of low sperm count, subfertility, or overall infertility. When cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy may affect the male’s reproductive health either temporarily or permanently. Studies have shown that cancer and/or cancer treatment have an adverse genetic affect on sperm up to 1- 2 years after cancer treatments.
Does my fertility return after cancer?
It is impossible to predict if cancer and/or it’s treatments will temporarily or permanently affect a man’s fertility. Chances of restoring male fertility after cancer depends on the type of cancer, how early the cancer was detected, and the treatment approach. The best way is to preserve fertility is by freezing semen samples prior to cancer treatment.
Fertile Hope www.fertilehope.org
NACB is proud to be an active member of this non-profit organization. We participate in their fertility preservation programs for cancer patients.
American Cancer Society (ACS) www.cancer.org
With numerous offices nationwide, this non-profit organization provides valuable support and information.
Changing the way the world fights cancer.