Monitoring fertility (semen analysis) by cancer survivors who banked sperm prior to cancer treatment

Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, Department of Human Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Level 4, The Jessop Wing, Tree Root Walk, Sheffield S10 2SF, UK.
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.57). 08/2012; 27(11):3132-9. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/des300
Source: PubMed


What medical and psychological variables predict why men with banked sperm do not return for semen analysis after their cancer treatment has ended?

Men who decline the offer of semen analysis are less likely to have reported adverse side effects during cancer treatment, and have a more negative experience of banking sperm and a more negative attitude towards disposal of their stored semen than those who attend.

Previous authors have noted that male cancer survivors seem reluctant to have their fertility tested after their treatment has ended. Moreover, the utilization rates of banked sperm are very low (

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    • "Women may want evaluation of their current ovarian reserve to help in deciding whether to try to conceive naturally, pursue assisted reproductive technology, or consider social parenthood by means of donated oocytes or embryos, or adoption [132,184]. Men often have not had a recent semen analysis, and are unsure whether they could father a pregnancy [143]. Although cancer survivors express more comfort with adoption than with using donor sperm or oocytes [171,172], their medical history may be a barrier to adopting in many international or domestic contexts [191]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sexual dysfunction is a common consequence of cancer treatment, affecting at least half of men and women treated for pelvic malignancies and over a quarter of people with other types of cancer. Problems are usually linked to damage to nerves, blood vessels, and hormones that underlie normal sexual function. Sexual dysfunction also may be associated with depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, and loss of self-esteem. Innovations in cancer treatment such as robotic surgery or more targeted radiation therapy have not had the anticipated result of reducing sexual dysfunction. Some new and effective cancer treatments, including aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer or chemoradiation for anal cancer also have very severe sexual morbidity. Cancer-related infertility is an issue for younger patients, who comprise a much smaller percentage of total cancer survivors. However, the long-term emotional impact of being unable to have a child after cancer can be extremely distressing. Advances in knowledge about how cancer treatments may damage fertility, as well as newer techniques to preserve fertility, offer hope to patients who have not completed their childbearing at cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, surveys in industrialised nations confirm that many cancer patients are still not informed about potential changes to their sexual function or fertility, and all modalities of fertility preservation remain underutilised. After cancer treatment, many patients continue to have unmet needs for information about restoring sexual function or becoming a parent. Although more research is needed on optimal clinical practice, current studies suggest a multidisciplinary approach, including both medical and psychosocial treatment options.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · EJC Supplements
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    • "Views about fertility included six questions about men's understanding about changes in their fertility after cancer treatment (Pacey et al, 2012). Responses were made on five-point Likert scales from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree'. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Sperm banking is recommended for all men diagnosed with cancer where treatment is associated with risk of long-term gonadatoxicity, to offer the opportunity of fatherhood and improved quality of life. However, uptake of sperm banking is lower than expected and little is known about why men refuse. Our aims were to determine: (i) demographic and medical variables associated with decisions about banking and (ii) differences in quality of life between bankers and non-bankers at diagnosis (Time 1 (T1)) and 1 year later (Time 2 (T2)). Methods: Questionnaires were completed by 91 men (response rate=86.67%) at T1 and 78 (85.71% response rate) at T2. Results: In all, 44 (56.41%) banked sperm. They were younger and less likely to have children than non-bankers. In a subset of men who were not sure if they wanted children in the future (n=36), 24 banked sperm. Among this group, those who banked were younger, more satisfied with clinic appointments and less worried about the health of future children. At T2, there were no differences in quality of life between bankers and non-bankers. Conclusion: For those who are uncertain about future reproductive plans, decisions depend on their health on diagnosis and satisfaction with clinic care. We conclude that extra care should be taken in counselling younger men who may have given little consideration to future parenting. Results support previous findings that the role of the doctor is vital in facilitating decisions, especially for those who are undecided about whether they wanted children in the future or not.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · British Journal of Cancer
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: In this study we report our results with storage of cryopreserved semen intended for preservation and subsequent infertility treatment in men with testicular cancer during the last 18 years. Methods: Cryopreserved semen of 523 men with testicular cancer was collected between October 1995 and the end of December 2012. Semen of 34 men (6.5%) was used for fertilization of their partners. They underwent 57 treatment cycles with cryopreserved, fresh, and/or donor sperm. Results: A total of 557 men have decided to freeze their semen before cancer treatment. Azoospermia was diagnosed in 34 men (6.1%), and semen was cryopreserved in 532 patients. Seminoma was diagnosed in 283 men (54.1%) and nonseminomatous germ cell tumors in 240 men (45.9%). 34 patients who returned for infertility treatment underwent 46 treatment cycles with cryopreserved sperm. Totally 16 pregnancies were achieved, that is, 34.8% pregnancy rate. Conclusion: The testicular cancer survivors have a good chance of fathering a child by using sperm cryopreserved prior to the oncology treatment, even when it contains only limited number of spermatozoa.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · The Scientific World Journal
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