Sperm freezing is a valuable option for males planning to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. Semen collection is achieved via masturbation, with no pre-collection treatments necessary. Best results are obtained when multiple semen samples are obtained. The semen is subsequently stored at very low temperatures. Semen samples may be frozen and used for an indeterminate amount of time. Excellent pregnancy rates are attainable using frozen sperm.
Northern California Fertility Medical Center offers sperm freezing and banking for men who have been diagnosed with cancer, for military personnel prior to deployment, and for patients pursuing fertility treatment at our clinic. Sperm freezing for fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment should be started as soon as practical after diagnosis, prior to chemotherapy or radiation. Below is a checklist to help you get started.
Obtain an order from your referring physician
- The order should request “Semen cryopreservation”.
- The reason for freezing should be stated (for example, pre-chemotherapy).
- The order must include physician contact information (phone number and fax number) so that the cryopreservation report can be sent to the referring physician.
- To ensure the order is correct, obtain a referral form from the andrology laboratory.
Make an appointment for sperm freezing
- Call (916) 773-2229 and tell the operator that you have been referred for sperm freezing.
- You will be transferred to the Andrology laboratory to set up an appointment and have your questions answered.
- Please be aware that the next available appointment may be 2 weeks out.
Have your blood drawn for infectious disease testing
- The referring doctor must order the 5 required blood tests.
- At the time of the blood draw, please request that results be sent to NCFMC as well as to the referring doctor. Copies of the results should be faxed to NCFMC at (916) 773-2162. It is your responsibility to follow up to make sure all results are received.
- Required blood tests are the following:
- HIV I & II
- HTLV I & II
- Hepatitis B surface antigen
- Hepatitis C antibody
- Screening tests are not acceptable. The above tests must be ordered exactly as listed to comply with FDA and State of California tissue banking regulations.
Sign legal consents
- Consents will be signed the day of the first sperm freezing appointment.
- If married, your wife must be present at this first appointment, or sign the consent in advance.
- If you are a minor, at least one parent must accompany you to sign consents.
Collect semen specimen
- An abstinence period of 2-3 days prior to semen collection is recommended; however, specimens may be collected 24 hours apart if time is limited.
- Semen may be collected at home or in one of the private collection rooms at our facility.
- Specimens must be collected in a sterile collection cup. If collected at home, the specimen must be transported to NCFMC within 45 minutes of collection. Keep the specimen warm (close to body temperature) during transport.
- Multiple specimen collections spaced 2-3 days apart are generally recommended if time permits.
Future pregnancy attempts
- Use of frozen sperm for future pregnancy attempts usually requires the use of assisted reproductive technologies such as intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization.
- NCFMC provides sperm banking for the use of a current or future “sexually intimate partner”. Per FDA guidelines, additional screening is required if sperm is to be used by a third party recipient.
Payment information for sperm freezing
- $350 Initial specimen processing and freezing.
- Approximately $275 Annual off-site storage fee (paid in advance) – Sperm transferred to Reprotech
- Prices subject to change – please contact us for current costs.
- Sperm banking is usually not covered by insurance. Please be prepared to pay at the time of your appointment. Accepted forms of payment include check, money order, and credit card. Cash is not accepted.
- We work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to provide discounted sperm banking services to low income cancer patients. To see if you qualify, visit http://www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/fertility-services/.