Why you might freeze your sperm
There are lots of reasons people look to preserve their fertility into the future. One reason is to preserve fertility until after cancer treatment or gender-affirming hormone treatment (GAHT), and another is for people who think their fertility may decline before they are ready to have children.
Sperm can also be frozen as back up for fertility treatment, for people who think their fertility may decline before they are ready to have children, or as ‘insurance’ before a vasectomy.
Access to publicly funded fertility preservation for the retrieval, freezing and long-term storage of sperm is available for people whose fertility will be permanently impaired by publicly funded treatment for medical conditions, such as by cancer treatment or GAHT.
Options for fertility preservation may exist prior to and after cancer treatment, however it is very important that if you have time before you start your treatment, you speak with a fertility specialist - to ensure you have the full picture. Many options for fertility preservation may be funded through the public health system.
Why freeze and store sperm?
Many treatments for cancer or gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) can have the potential to affect your ability to conceive naturally. This risk is influenced by the type and extent of your disease, or the gender affirming treatment being undertaken*.
Sperm can be frozen and stored long-term for people who face losing their fertility due to medical treatments.
*For more information about your individual fertility risk please talk to your Oncologist, Endocrinologist or other appropriate specialist.
Sperm freezing is straightforward and many people will have enough sperm in one ejaculate for several IVF cycles. If there are enough good quality sperm after thawing then the first approach may be to try IUI treatment, keeping some sperm in reserve for IVF later, if IUI is not successful. If you want to consider IUI as an option, you will almost certainly need to freeze three or more semen samples.