Testicular Cancer & Fertility: Treatment Options

12th April 2017 in Infertility

The annual awareness campaign this month by leading UK male cancer charity Orchid focused on testicular cancer.

Over 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year according to Orchid, which if caught early can be cured in around 98% of cases.

Typically affecting men aged 15-45, testicular cancer and its treatment can affect fertility. Here’s what you need to know about testicular cancer and fertility, and specialist fertility treatments to help you have children in future:

Can you still father a baby if you have testicular cancer?

If one testicle is removed to treat the cancer, it may still be possible to have children. If chemotherapy is advised, this may cause temporarily infertility, which may return to normal after treatment has ended. But in some men, especially those who’ve had high doses of chemotherapy treatment, fertility remains low.

So you may be advised to preserve or ‘bank’ some of your sperm prior to starting treatment.

Preserving or ‘banking’ your sperm

Although most NHS trusts may provide this service, we offer ‘sperm banking’ or male fertility preservation at Manchester Fertility. It’s a simple process where you provide us with a sperm sample, which we freeze in liquid nitrogen in our laboratory. You give us consent to freeze your sperm, and can specify how long you wish it to be stored for.

When you decide you want to use your sperm, your sperm is thawed, checked for quality and used in fertility treatment.

IVF or ICSI

Even if your sperm count is low, IVF or ICSI may help you have a baby. In most cases of male factor infertility, ICSI is the best option. It is a refinement of IVF where a single healthy sperm is injected directly into the egg to fertilise it.

Specialist male fertility procedures: Surgical Sperm Retrieval

Surgical Sperm Retrieval is a specialist technique that gives you the opportunity to try to use your own sperm to have a child, even if you have no sperm in your ejaculate as a result of your treatment for testicular cancer.

SSR is a procedure where sperm is collected from the testes. There are different methods of SSR, all designed to extract usable healthy sperm. At Manchester Fertility we specialise in SSR, our consultant Urologists are male fertility specialists highly experienced in treating even the most severe cases of male infertility.

Any recovered sperm from Surgical Sperm Retrieval is frozen and analysed by our andrology team for viability, and then used in an ICSI treatment cycle. Success rates using sperm recovered through SSR depends on a number of factors, including the amount of sperm retrieved, and the quality of eggs to be fertilised.

Using donor sperm

Donor sperm gives you the opportunity to still have a baby, if fertility treatments using your own sperm or SSR techniques don’t work.

Using a sperm donor may be a difficult decision to make, but you can be reassured that you’ll be supported by our dedicated Donation Team and counsellors every step of the way. You’ll be just as involved in the treatment process and can specify what characteristics you want your sperm donor to have.

At Manchester Fertility you can start fertility treatment with donor sperm straight away. We don’t have a waiting list for donor sperm thanks to our Semovo national sperm bank. All our UK-based sperm donors are aged 18-41, health-screened and implications counselled. They are also fully identifiable to any children you have in future.

Sperm banking in Cheshire & male fertility treatments

If you want to know more about sperm freezing, our specialist treatments for male infertility or using donor sperm, speak to our Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2737.Or book in for a free, no obligation one-to-one. It’s a non-medical appointment where you can ask us any questions in private.

Last updated: 20th January 2020