Some chemotherapy treatment causes infertility
by reducing the number and effectiveness of the sperms produced in the testes This may be temporary or permanent, depending on the drugs you are having.
It is possible to store (bank) sperm in a
special fridge for up to 25 years for later
use should your fertility not fully recover after treatment.
After discussion with your doctor, an appointment
will be made for you at a fertility clinic. There should be one in every area so
if this has not been mentioned to you - ask. For example in the Cambridge and
Bedford Area, the clinic is called The Bourn Hall Clinic.
Not all patients are suitable for sperm
storage - For example, sometimes chemotherapy has to be give quickly, the
disease my have impaired the ability to get and erection or ejaculate. If you
are eligible, you should not have been sexual activity for
48 hours before attending the clinic. On your first visit, you will have a consultation with a member
of the medical and nursing staff to discuss semen collection, preservation and retrieval
in the future.
At your first and following visits, you
will be asked to produce semen samples over a period of around two weeks. These will be
analysed, frozen and stored. In the future these samples could be thawed and used to
inseminate your partner artificially.
When you arrive at Bourn Hall, you should
report to the main reception. After your consultation, a number of tests are performed as
routine including hepatitis B and HIV in all cases, you will be asked to produce your first
semen sample, for which you are given complete privacy. Magazines and video
films are usually made available and your partner may accompany you.
At present the consultation and each year
of storage of your semen are paid for by your health authority, but it would be necessary
for you to pay privately for the sperm to be used by artificial insemination or in-vitro
fertilization treatment. We hope this may change in the future.
Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in
an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment
as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup
has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video
available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali,
Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. Cancernet.co.uk
has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool
which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the