Urologist John Mulhull, director of the Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses fertility-preserving options for men of childbearing age who have cancer.
Treatments for cancer can affect fertility in a number of ways. They may destroy your ability to produce sperm, alter hormone levels that regulate sperm production, or interfere with your ability to transfer sperm to a female partner during intercourse.
Options to preserve fertility before treatment include:
- Sperm cryopreservation (freezing of sperm)
- Sperm banking (semen sample obtained by masturbation)
- Electroejaculation (semen sample obtained under anesthesia by electrical stimulation)
- Testicular sperm extraction/epididymal aspiration (sperm obtained under anesthesia by testicular biopsy or aspiration)
- Testicular tissue cryopreservation (freezing of testicular tissue obtained under anesthesia; investigational only, for prepubertal boys)
- Testicular shielding (covering of the testes during treatment with radiation directed to the pelvis or groin)
The resources below can provide you with additional information on fertility preservation and family building options.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Resources
External Resources Specific to Cancer and Fertility
External Resources On All Aspects of Fertility and Family Building
Search within each site for specific topics.
External Resources Specific to Cancer and Fertility for Teens and Parents of Children
Finding a Reproductive Urologist