What are the main options for a pre-treatment adult male?
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Jill Trainer, MSW, LCSW
Patient Navigator, Division of Fertility Preservation
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
The options for men are sperm banking which is the most common, testicular sperm extraction which is little bit more in depth and can be done before or after treatment, and testicular tissue freezing which is very experimental and not commonly done in a lot of different places and you‘d have to work with urologist that’s comfortable doing that. Sperm banking is the most common option for men. It’s readily available. There’s not a large timeframe that needs to happen. Generally, men are referred to the urologist and able to be seen rather quickly. The urologist is able to do a quick exam and then able to have them produce a sample. So there’s not a lot of time that’s involved and men can do several samples before their actual treatment starts.
So, let’s say the man has a week before treatment starts, he might be able to do two or three samples before that. Even if he’s not able to do several samples, he’s generally able to, at least, do one sample before treatment starts and there’s not a lot of time that’s involved with that. They’re able to bank whatever is available. With advances like ICSI through in vitro fertilization, men don’t need several samples in order to achieve a pregnancy later on. They just really need a few good sperm. Testicular sperm extraction is an outpatient procedure that an urologist would do where they actually go in and look through the tissue, the testicular tissue, to see if they can find any sperm and to try to extract those sperm in order to use it for ICSI to achieve a pregnancy. And then testicular tissue freezing is actually where they would go in and remove tissue and freeze it, hopefully prior to surgery—I’m sorry—prior to treatment, but that’s very experimental, and as far as I know, there have been no live births from that.