Pre-Medical Treatment Sperm Freezing
Human sperm freezing has been available since 1954 and thousands of babies have been born worldwide from sperm that was previously frozen and stored. Sperm freezing is usually a non-invasive service and is clinically and scientifically less complex than egg or embryo freezing.
Any man diagnosed with cancer – or other conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Chrone’s disease – where treatment such as chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy may make him sterile, is encouraged to freeze sperm before these intensive therapies begin. While some types of chemotherapy can cause temporary loss of fertility, sperm counts may return after a few years. However, other forms of chemotherapy and radiation treatment are much more damaging to sperm production.
The Midland Fertility fertility preservation service for men who require chemotherapy or radiotherapy, is available on an emergency basis, with immediate access to the treatment during normal clinic hours, if required.
Who may benefit from pre-medical treatment sperm freezing?
- any man who is diagnosed with cancer or other medical condition before treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy
- any man who has already had chemotherapy may still produce ‘usable’ sperm but which can be retrieved only via a SSR procedure and which may then be suitable for banking and use in future ICSI treatment
- any man about to undergo surgery such as an orchidectomy (removal of the testes)
For whom is pre-medical treatment sperm freezing not suitable?
- Midland Fertility is unable to register patients under the age of 18 years
- any man who is known to be azoospermic before chemotherapy or radiotherapy begin
- any man who has screened positive for a sexually transmitted disease
What does pre-medical treatment sperm freezing involve?
Depending on the time available before the surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy begin, a consultation, infection screening and first sample may be completed at a single appointment:
- a blood sample will be taken for routine infection screening
- information will be given about the procedure and counselling will be offered
- consent to freeze sperm and the issue of posthumous use will be explained and if the patient wants to go ahead with the procedure, he will give consent in writing by completing standard HFEA forms
- the man will be invited to provide a sperm sample, and one of the scientific team will check the:
- count (the number of sperm)
- motility (movement)
- morphology (shape)
- if any viable sperm are evident, the sample will be loaded into labelled ‘straws’ and stored in liquid nitrogen at ‒196°C, for possible future use. (The sperm count and quality do not have to meet the criteria required for sperm donation.)
- a SSR may be recommended if there are no sperm in the ejaculate and if surgery will allow a sample of testicular tissue to be extracted
- ideally he will be able to return to Midland Fertility bank further samples if time allows before his chemotherapy or radiotherapy begins
- if in the future, when he and his partner want to conceive, he may return to Midland Fertility and provide another sperm sample for analysis. After analysis, Midland Fertility can advise him of his chances of conceiving either naturally, or with IUI, IVF or ICSI using his frozen sperm
What is included in the pre-medical treatment sperm freezing treatment cost?
- routine infection screening
- the laboratory analysis of the sperm sample(s)
- freezing of up to three samples
- storage of the sperm samples for the first year
What is not included in the pre-medical treatment sperm freezing treatment cost?
- SSR procedure
- any other investigations or treatments
- storage of the sperm samples after the first year
How long does pre-medical treatment sperm freezing treatment take?
This service is available to patients requiring chemotherapy or radiotherapy at short notice and depending on the time available before therapy begins, may be completed within 24 hours. It is preferable for the man to attend an appointment at MFS as soon as possible after diagnosis so that the maximum number of samples can be frozen. Two days abstinence from ejaculation is required between samples.
NB MFS is usually able to secure funding from the patient’s PCT to meet the cost of sperm freezing for patients who require chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Cost of consultation at Midland Fertility: £150.00
Cost of banking sperm and first year’s storage at Midland Fertility: £525.00
Cost of storage of sperm (1 year) at Midland Fertility: £200.00
Cost of storage sperm (3 years) at Midland Fertility: £500.00
Cost of storage sperm (5 years) at Midland Fertility: £750.00
Go to the Patient Treatment Information page and download the following infosheets:
- Freezing and Storing Sperm
- Surgical Sperm Retrieval