Sperm Freezing

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation or surgery as well as some other treatments for autoimmune conditions or other medical conditions may impact sperm production. Both quality and quantity can be affected temporarily or permanently by these interventions.

Sperm freezing is a great and simple way for males to preserve their chances of conceiving a biological baby in the future.

The impact of cancer or other treatments on fertility is not uniform and depends on age, medical background, type of treatment, dose and baseline sperm parameters. While for some there is no, or very minimal, impact on sperm production, for others, the damage may be severe, resulting in cessation of sperm production. An estimated 15% to 30% of men with a history of cancer during childhood and adolescence will have a zero sperm count.


Men with cancer diagnosis or other sever illnesses are more likely to have impaired sperm production but with current assisted reproduction techniques a future pregnancy can be achieved with even very poor semen quality as we are able to use ICSI technique that requires only a single viable sperm per egg. It has been shown that the live birth rate from using frozen sperm the same as when using fresh sperm through fertility treatments.

Exposure to certain medications, chemotherapy or radiation can affect the genetic integrity of sperm, so freezing the sperm before the treatment is initiated is important.

In transgender females, sperm freezing is advised before hormonal treatment is started.

Men are requested to provide a sample in a private room in the Andrology unit, so our scientists can prepare and freeze the sperm as soon as possible for the best outcomes. Usually, freezing more than on one sample is advised. The number of samples needed for storage is different for each person and depends on the semen quality and the time you have before starting your treatment. If you are unable to collect semen due to illness, we may be able to collect sperm directly from your testicles using a needle. This is performed under local anaesthesia.

The ejaculate will be split into several vials, and it can be used in the future through several methods. The number of vials and the quantity of sperm in each vial will depend on its intended use. If time enables multiple samples to be frozen, and provided the sperm quality is high, the sperm can be used through intrauterine inseminations. Otherwise, smaller quantities per vial are stored for IVF – ICSI treatments, enabling higher chances for conception in the future.

Sperm can be stored for 10 years and extensions can be granted beyond this point. There may be costs involved for the storage and use of the sperm.

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