Sperm storage consists of freezing sperm in liquid nitrogen, where it is stored at -196º, maintaining its fertility capacity for many years. Men who need to undergo surgery or medical or radiotherapy treatments that may affect spermatozoid production would benefit from freezing their semen.
Sperm storage in Spain: : the current Assisted Reproduction Law in Spain establishes the legal framework in which this technique is carried out. Only the patient may decide on the final use of the frozen sperm.
The therapeutic advances in Oncology have dramatically increased survival rates. Over 5% of cancer illnesses affect patients under 35 years old, and although treatments often result in full recovery, they may sometimes cause side effects including infertility due to the toxicity of the medicines.
In most men, spermatozoids will disappear 2-3 months after starting chemotherapy. Although the patient may recover, depending on the medicines, doses, treatment duration and his own personal strength, permanent side effects usually occur.
In cases where spermatozoid production restarts, the production level is normally reduced as a consequence of the alterations caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Therefore, we recommend freezing sperm before starting chemotherapy even though the formation of spermatozoids may restart.
Patients suffering from cancer do not usually know about these side effects and logically give priority to the vital diagnosis instead of the possible after-effects arising from the treatment. Therefore, the medical team treating theses patients is responsible for informing the patient about the side effects and the benefits of freezing sperm before starting treatment.
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