This information answers some frequently asked questions about sperm banking and provides a list of local sperm banks.

What is sperm banking?

Sperm banking is the collection and freezing of sperm before you begin cancer treatment. Your sperm will be stored in case you need them in the future to become a father. Sperm can be stored for as long as you want, even for many years.

Why should I do this?

Many cancer treatments can damage the cells needed to make sperm. This means you may become infertile (unable to conceive a child). Sometimes the body can recover from this damage, but sometimes it cannot. We have no way of knowing for sure if you will be fertile after your treatment. 

We know that right now you may not be thinking about being a father. However, in the future this may be very important to you. Banking sperm now will increase your chance of being able to father a child using your own sperm. Many young men who do not bank their sperm before treatment later regret this decision if they find out they are infertile when they are ready to start a family. Many say they wish they had been pushed more by their families and doctors to do this. Because of this, we encourage all teens and young men to bank sperm before treatment that may affect fertility.

Where can I do this?

Sperm banking is done at a New York State licensed sperm bank. You can choose from among the local sperm banks listed at the end of this resource. Most sperm banks require a prescription from your doctor. If you do not have a prescription, please call your doctor’s office and have them send it to you or to the sperm bank.

Call to make your first appointment. When you call, let them know you want to bank sperm before starting cancer treatment and that you have been referred by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).

Think about who you will feel most comfortable being with you when you go. This may be your parents, a friend, your spouse or partner, or someone else. You may prefer to go alone.

When should I do this?

You must bank your sperm before you begin treatment. We suggest you do 3 collections if possible. For the first collection, it is best if you don't have sex for 2 to 5 days before the collection. This includes intercourse and masturbation. Then skip 2 to 3 days between the other collections. This will help you collect the highest possible number of sperm.

If your treatment will be starting too soon for this timing, you can schedule the collections with only 1 day between each one. You should try to bank your sperm even if you are only able to do 1 or 2 collections, because there are new techniques available that can fertilize eggs with very few sperm.

If you will be having a scan with a radioactive isotope, such as a PET scan, you cannot do a sperm collection during the 24 hours after you receive the injection. Keep this in mind when scheduling your appointments with the sperm bank.

How do I do this?

At the sperm bank you will receive forms to complete. The staff at the sperm bank will explain how to do the collection and then will bring you into a small private room.

Before collecting, wash and dry your hands. You will need to stimulate yourself by masturbating. Do not use saliva, spit, or lubricants, as these can destroy the sperm. The sperm bank may give you mineral oil to help, but use this only at the base of the penis to avoid getting it mixed in with your semen. The fluid (ejaculate) that comes out of the tip of your penis contains the sperm. You will collect all the fluid in a sterile cup. If you feel you cannot collect sperm this way, please tell your doctor or nurse. There may be others ways to collect it.

How much will this cost?

The cost varies from one sperm bank to another. There are separate fees for analyzing, processing, freezing, and storing the sperm. The cost in the New York area is about $1,200 for 3 collections. The sperm bank may also need blood tests for certain infectious diseases; this may add to the cost.

When you call to schedule your appointment, ask if they offer discounted rates to cancer patients, either on their own or through the LIVESTRONG Fertility Program. To find out if you are eligible through LIVESTRONG and for an application, look on their website: http://images.livestrong.org/downloads/we-can-help/2014-Men-LIVESTRONG-Fertility-Application.pdf.

Most insurance plans do not cover sperm banking. Call your insurance company to find out if you have coverage. Explain that you will be starting treatment for cancer that may cause you to become infertile and that your doctor has recommended that you bank sperm. Ask if it would help you to get coverage if they had a letter explaining this from your doctor.

Where can I learn more?

Please ask your nurse for the resource Cancer and Fertility: Information for Men. For additional information and links to other resources, go to the MSK internet site at www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/survivorship/fertility or ask your doctor or nurse for a referral to our Fertility Nurse Specialist.

Finding a Sperm Bank

Manhattan

California Cryobank
369 Lexington Avenue, Suite 401 (at 41st Street)
New York, NY 10017
(212) 779-1608
Offers a discounted rate to eligible patients through LIVESTRONG Fertility
 
Cryos International
90 Maiden Lane, Suite 302 (at Gold Street)
New York, NY 10038
(212) 430-5950
Offers a discounted rate to cancer patients
 
Manhattan CryoBank
110 East 40th Street, Suite 101 (between Lexington and Park Avenues)
New York, NY 10016
(212) 396-2796
 
Repro Labs
332 East 30th Street (between First and Second Avenues)
New York, NY 10016
(212) 779-3988
Offers a discounted rate to eligible patients through LIVESTRONG Fertility
 

Long Island

New York Cryo
900 Northern Boulevard, Suite 230
Great Neck, NY 11201
(516) 487-2700
Reproductive Specialists of New York
200 Old Country Road, Suite 350
Mineola, NY 11501
(516) 739-2100
 
or
 
2500 Nesconset Highway, Building 23
Stony Brook, NY 11790
(631) 246-9100
Offers a discounted rate to cancer patients
 

 

Westchester

M.A.Z.E Laboratories
2975 Westchester Avenue
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 683-0000
 

New Jersey

M.A.Z.E Laboratories
1117 Route 46 East, Suite 301
Clifton, NJ 07013
(973) 472-0600
 
Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey
140 Allen Road 
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 
(973) 656-2823 
 
The Sperm and Embryo Bank of New Jersey
187 Mill Lane
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908) 654-8836
 

Pennsylvania

Fairfax Cryobank
3401 Market Street, Suite 205
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 386-1977