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Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2012;39(3):283-7.

The role of sperm banking in fertility preservation.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.



To investigate factors that influence sperm banking before cancer therapy and assess the use and disposal of banked sperm after cancer treatment.


Database exploratory study combined with questionnaire survey of a cohort of 55 men who cryopreserved their sperm at an Andrology Clinic.


Rate of use, disposal and abandonment of banked sperm, current fertility, and patient satisfaction with sperm banking.


Using logistic regression, we analyzed the factors associated with use and disposal of banked sperm, current fertility status, reproductive outcomes and quality of life in 55 survivors of cancer therapy who cryopreserved sperm at our facility. Most (93%) of the patients undergoing sperm banking before cancer treatment did not use their samples and 33% requested sperm disposal following completion of cancer therapy. Married status and fatherhood before cancer therapy were associated with higher rates of sperm disposal. Sperm disposal was requested because the subjects remained fertile, spontaneously fathered a child, or completed their family. The families of four patients (7%) who died from their cancer also requested disposal of the stored sperm. Six (11%) patients could not be located or failed to contact the clinic and were considered to have abandoned their banked sperm. Only 7% of the patients used their cryopreserved sperm for assisted reproduction. Most of the patients that banked sperm achieved pregnancy with their partners through spontaneous conception compared to through the use of cryopreserved sperm.


The rates of disposal and abandonment of banked sperm were high following cancer therapy. Retention of fertility appears to contribute to the low utilization of banked sperm, which emphasizes the need for appropriate consent and directives regarding disposal of unused cryopreserved sperm.

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