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Fertility Preservation – Why Is It Needed In Young Adult Males?

Fertility Preservation – Why Is It Needed In Young Adult Males? image

Fertility Preservation – Why Is It Needed In Young Adult Males?

According to latest statistics reported by US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) – a project of NIH, investigators suggested that more than 180,890 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 8,720 males will develop testicular malignancy in the year 2016. Fortunately, with advancements in science and technology, more cancers are detected and treated at an earlier stage. For example, based on latest available data, 2.9 million Americans are currently living a heathy life after undergoing therapy for prostate malignancy.

However, it is a no brainer than malignancy of prostate and testicles (as well as antineoplastic therapies for other cancers) are very strongly linked to a higher risk of developing infertility in men.

How Does A Malignant Process Affect Fertility In Men?

Research and clinical data indicates that an active malignant process involving a genital tissue (or cancer treatment) can affect future male fertility in a number of ways. For example:

Infertility, secondary to a malignant process or treatment can be transient (lasting for a period of up to 5 years after the completion of treatment) or permanent (lifelong infertility).

Although it is likely that preservation of fertility may not be a major concern at the time of diagnosis (or during treatment process), but healthcare professionals can take measures to alleviate the risk of fertility related complications. It is imperative to mention that some males are still capable of fathering their children despite poor/ low quality sperms.

What Are Some Risk Factors That Are Negatively Associated With Fertility In Cancer Survivors?

Following risk factors are suggestive of poor fertility (transient or permanent) in men suffering from cancer:

What Are Some Factors That Are Positively Associated With Fertility In Cancer Survivors?

The capacity to produce viable sperms are high if:

Fertility Preservation – What Are Some Techniques?

The decision to preserve fertility should be taken before initiating the therapy. There are several benefits of this approach, regardless of the nature of surgery/ treatment. For example, if after therapy, your sperm count/ quality deteriorate, you can always rely on the stored samples to have children of your own.

Here are most recommended and promising fertility preservation techniques:

Several samples of semen are collected from the patient (prior to chemo/ radiation therapy) via masturbation. These sperm samples are then stored at a freezing temperature (-196˚C in liquid nitrogen) for months or even years. Once needed, the sample can be used for specialized assistive reproductive techniques like IVF (in-vitro fertilization).

In a small group of males, collection of sample via masturbation is not possible for a number of reasons. All such individuals are an ideal candidate for small testicular biopsy (a microinvasive procedure that aims to collect a sample of tissue with sperms).

Speak to your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns regarding the procedure.


1. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-key-statistics

2. Loren, A. W., Mangu, P. B., Beck, L. N., Brennan, L., Magdalinski, A. J., Partridge, A. H., … & Oktay, K. (2013). Fertility preservation for patients with cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline update. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31(19), 2500-2510.

3. Tran, S., Boissier, R., Perrin, J., Karsenty, G., & Lechevallier, E. (2015). Review of the Different Treatments and Management for Prostate Cancer and Fertility. Urology, 86(5), 936-941.

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