Some testicular cancer treatments can cause infertility, which means that you might not be able to have children in the future.
Your doctor will offer you the chance to collect and store sperm (sperm banking) before you start treatment.
Before sperm banking you go to a fertility clinic. There, you talk through all the issues around sperm banking with a nurse, doctor or counsellor. This includes:
- what happens to the sperm if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself or if you die
- how long you want to store the sperm for – this is usually 10 years
- whether your partner can use the sperm to have a baby if you die
- whether you want to be named as the parent if a child is born
- whether your sperm can be used for research or donated for use in someone else’s fertility treatment
- any other conditions you want to state about how the sperm can be used
You then sign a consent form.
You have blood tests to check for illnesses or infections, such as HIV or hepatitis.
You give 2 or 3 semen samples over a few days at the clinic.The hospital freezes and stores the samples. You can keep them until you are 55.
The NHS often pays for sperm banking for men with cancer. In some hospitals you might have to pay for it.