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To Bank, or not to bank...sperm

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  • rjs
    Bank it!

    TEXAS123 -
    I faced the same situation you seem to facing and I opted to bank. The percentages offered are correct, but there is always the chance so I opted to play it safe since there is no going back. However, you can take some steps to see where you really stand.
    (1) Go ahead and have a fertility test done to determine where you stand currently prior to radiation with you sperm count. If you have regular or high mobility then the percentages of being infertile after radiation are even lower. But some t/c patients are already infertile or have very low counts so knowing this prior to radiation could help with your decision.
    (2) If you opt to bank then the process is relatively simple, but probably not covered by insurance. Check it out. Costs involved are for the appointment with the doctor (2-3 different sessions) and then the actual storage (usually for 2-4 year increments). Storage can be for up to 100 years, but you pay for 2-4 year increments.
    (3) Even if you bank or even if you don not bank, make sure your radiation oncologist instructs the technicians to use the "jewel box" on the remaining testicle. This contraption is awkward, but will help shield some of the scatter radiation from the beam that could lead to infertility. Some techs will tell you that the box is not necessary, but this is your body and your fertility so take every precaution you can now. Remember, if you are on the wrong side of the odds there is no going back so take the steps now to help yourself later.
    (4) About 1-2 years after your treatment you may find that you naturally got your partner pregnant OR you may decide to have another fertility test to learn what your sperm mobility is after treatment. If you learn that mobility is good OR that you have already impregnated your partner then you can decide not to renew your stored sample and never think about it again.

    The key here is to be prepared for all scenarios. Depending on where you live the banking options may be limited. I found a doctor locally who would help collect the sample, but the storage is in another city. The process of banking is a little awkward (you, a cup, in a hospital bathroom), but its worth it knowing that your options are good late. The "jewel box" is also awkward, but by now I figured so many had seen, touched, and examined my most private parts that a couple minutes to place the box was not going to make any more difference.

    Hope this helps. Ask more questions if you have any.


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  • Davie
    I don't know if Belgium medical service is similar to the UK, but my sperm was collected and stored at no charge.

    You should check this out if Belgium's health service is similar to the UKs, i.e. free at the point of use.


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  • wannalive
    I found it

    I'm still anxious

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  • wannalive
    Cost of banking and having a baby ?


    Can you give me a figure of sperm banking, running charges and
    the cost for having a baby if I need to ?

    although I'm in europe, I want to know order of magnitude, as enginer say
    is it 100s or 1000s ?


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  • Scott
    The TCRC page on fertility issues at this link says that adjuvant radiation therapy for seminoma may cause a temporary decrease in sperm count but no permanent damage.

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  • TEXAS123
    started a topic To Bank, or not to bank...sperm

    To Bank, or not to bank...sperm

    Hey guys,
    thanks to all who helped me throught the initial stages of my TC.
    I am going to start my radiation in about a week.

    So...anyone banked? From what the doc said I should have about equal chances of procreating even after the radiation. Sperm count may drop for a while and then it goes back to normal. Anyone had experience with this?
    Thanks in advance for the advice folks.