Sperm freezing and storage for fertility treatments

Sperm freezing for patients undergoing treatment for cancer: What you need to know

Having a cancer diagnosis can be daunting for patients, especially young patients, who may have questions about how treatment can affect their fertility and chances of having a family. Specific cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may impact your ability to conceive a child. Men receiving targeted therapy or
immunotherapy treatment are at a higher risk of causing birth defects if they father a child during treatment.

Thankfully, fertility preservation methods, such as sperm freezing, make it possible for
men to preserve their fertility before starting cancer treatment.

How do I arrange sperm freezing with City Fertility?

At your next oncology or GP appointment, ask for a referral to City Fertility specifically for sperm freezing prior to cancer treatment.

Contact your nearest City Fertility clinic to arrange an appointment. Depending on where you live, you may be able to produce your specimen at home and bring it to the clinic; alternatively, you can produce the sample on-site. At this time, you will need to sign consent forms that allow for the freezing and storage of sperm for up to 10 years.

We appreciate that there may be time sensitivity to proceed with fertility preservation as soon as practical. We will consider this when making appointments and can fast-track appointments and treatment where necessary.

To make an appointment or learn more, please contact our team by calling 1300 354 354 or emailing prioritybooking@cityfertility.com.au today.

What do I need to do before my appointment with City Fertility?

Please ensure you have completed blood tests for the following infections: hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV. If you have completed these tests within the previous 2 years as part of your clinical work-up, please bring the results with you to your appointment.

If you have not previously completed these blood tests, please obtain a referral from your oncologist or GP. These results must be available before your appointment with City Fertility.

How many sperm samples do I freeze?

Everyone’s situation is different, but most patients will freeze between 2 and 5 samples. It will mostly depend on the time interval before your cancer treatment.

We recommend abstaining from intercourse and ejaculation for at least two, but no longer than 5 days, for the first sample and about two days between samples.

How long can I continue to store my frozen sperm?

While the maximum storage period of sperm varies between 10 years (QLD and VIC) and 15 years (NSW and WA), this storage period can be extended by following the extension process required in each state. If you want to extend your storage period, please get in touch with your City Fertility team, who will assist you.

You must update us if your contact details change, including any name changes. If we cannot reach you to collect the storage fee and confirm extended storage, we may be required to dispose of the samples. If you no longer require your frozen sperm, please contact your clinic for disposal consent forms.

What happens if you want to thaw and use the samples?

To thaw and use your frozen sperm samples, you must obtain a referral from your GP to a City Fertility fertility specialist. There are several treatment options, depending on the quality of sperm available. Frozen sperm can be used for Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) if the post-thaw quality is good enough.

If the quality is reduced, it may be necessary to undertake In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which involves individual sperm being injected directly into mature eggs.

Please speak with City Fertility if you would like to know more about the costs involved with these procedures.

What options are available if I choose not to keep my sperm frozen?

The following options are available if you decide to no longer keep your sperm in frozen

  • Removal from cryopreservation (thawed and discarded)
  • Donation to Scientific Training

Whatever option you decide on, signed consent forms are required. Please get in touch with our clinic to discuss these options further.

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In the unfortunate event that a couple decides to separate or divorce and frozen sperm are in storage, the partner with the sperm in storage should contact their clinic to let them know of the situation.

What are the costs associated with sperm freezing as a cancer patient?

If your referral states specifically that you are freezing sperm prior to cancer treatment, your freeze appointments will be bulk-billed. The first 6 months of storage are offered complimentary to our patients.

We strongly encourage you to explore the Australian Government’s Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Storage Funding Program, which assists patients who face extra costs for fertility treatment because of cancer or a genetic condition. This program aims to remove out-of-pocket costs for eligible cryostorage services for these patients. According to the program, the current funding amount is approximately $600 per year per type of material (eggs, sperm, or embryos), and patients can access funding for up to two types of material for up to 10 years.

Fees may apply if you require the samples to be exported to another provider.

Please contact our friendly team for further information about our current rates or how to claim the ART Storage Funding Program rebate.  Call 1300 354 354 or email contactus@cityfertility.com.au.

If your referral states specifically that you are freezing sperm before cancer treatment, your freeze appointments will be bulk-billed. The first 6 months of storage are also offered complimentary to our patients.

To learn more about sperm freezing, please read our fact sheet: Sperm freezing.



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