New treatments for cancer, especially radiation and chemotherapy, have radically improved the outlook for oncology patients, offering a chance for disease remission, longer life, and even the possibility of total cure. A man’s reproductive functions, however, may be impaired by his cancer treatments.
The Rochester Regional Cryobank (RRC) provides sperm cryopreservation and storage (sperm banking) for men prior to chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or other medical treatments that may jeopardize fertility. It is also available for men who are facing military deployment, possible environmental exposures, or for reasons of convenience. Sperm banking offers men the security of knowing that the possibility of fatherhood is preserved.
Rochester Regional Cryobank is a New York State licensed and inspected facility for freezing and long-term storage of semen samples. Specimens are maintained using strict laboratory protocol and are monitored daily. Cryopreserved specimens, when properly stored, will remain viable almost indefinitely, though some degradation may occur over time.
You will be asked to produce a semen sample either at home (with delivery to the lab within 45 minutes) or in the laboratory collection room. Once you provide a sample, the lab staff will perform a semen analysis to determine counts and motility. All cryopreservation is done by appointment only.
Semen specimens are frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196˚C using a special media to protect the sperm from damage during freezing and thawing. A test vial is thawed 48 hours after freezing to determine cryosurvival. Multiple samples may be required to achieve one or more pregnancies. We suggest at least 2 days of abstinence (from ejaculation) between visits, if possible.
Use of the frozen semen should be carefully planned to maximize the chances for pregnancy. Your partner should meet with her physician prior to treatment to identify possible barriers to successful conception and pregnancy. While intrauterine insemination may be used for samples with good post-thaw counts and motilities, assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended if the concentration and/or motility are very low, or if there are female problems identified. There does not appear to be any increased risk of birth defects, miscarriage, or tubal pregnancies using frozen-thawed sperm.
There are a number of blood tests that need to be performed within 30 days of your final collection. These tests, for sexually transmitted diseases, are for the protection of any eventual recipient of your samples. Failure to have these tests performed could prevent you from using your samples at a later date. Your primary care physician or oncologist should be able to order these tests.
Samples will be stored until you need them. At your request, semen samples can be shipped to another storage facility or to your physician’s office for insemination. If you decide to destroy them, you will need to provide written authorization (with photo copy of your driver’s license) in order to do so. Alternately, you may make an appointment to destroy your samples in person (photo ID required).
The following are current charges for sperm banking (subject to change).
Semen processing (freezing) per ejaculate: $110
Annual yearly storage fee: 200
Andrology Office Contact Information
Phone: (585) 487-3378, ext. 3
Fax: (585) 334-8164