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Male patients

Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy seen in young men. Haematological malignancies (cancers of the blood) such as leukaemia and lymphomas are also seen frequently. Treatments may involve significant surgery (for testicular malignancies), chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Systemic chemotherapy and pelvic radiotherapy can lead to testicular failure, meaning that the testes are unable to produce sperm in the future.

Men facing potentially sterilising therapies can be offered the opportunity to bank semen before they start treatment. A semen sample is produced, the sperm extracted and frozen for the future. Samples can be legally stored for up to 55 years in the UK. When the patient returns to use the samples, they may be used within insemination treatment or, if there are additional female factors or the semen sample is of poorer quality, within IVF and/or ICSI. Not all men who have sperm stored will be eligible for NHS funded fertility treatment when they return to use the sperm, but we can continue to store the sperm until the patient decides whether he wishes to use the stored samples, either within NHS funded treatment or private fertility treatment.