Alternatively known as sperm storage or fertility preservation, this service has been provided in Nottingham for many years, usually for patients embarking on a therapy which may render them infertile or sterile.
- Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy
- Urological surgery e.g. Prostate, Bladder, Testicular Biopsy, Vasectomy
- Spinal surgery
- Gender re-assignment
- Some men also store sperm as part of a treatment for infertility, although this is not usually ‘long term’.
All patients who require sperm storage should receive the relevant patient information leaflet, and must complete a series of legal consent forms before their sperm can be stored.
How frozen sperm is used
This largely depends on two factors: how many samples you have available, and how well they maintain their function once frozen and thawed. We would normally help you make this decision once we have tested the sperm post-thaw. For more on post-thaw testing, click here.
To qualify for NHS-funded sperm banking, the patient must meet the criteria laid down by the local funding bodies, the CCGs (clinical commissioning groups). Funding can change depending on which area of the country you live in. In general, the East Midlands region (Notts, Derbys, Lincoln, Leics) will provide funding for those who are at risk of long term infertility, but please contact us if in doubt.
You’ll then be referred by a specialist or department which has agreed to fund it. If you qualify for funding this will last initially for 10 years, providing there is a continued fertility problem, and will be reviewed before the 10 year period is completed. However, you don’t have to be funded or referred by a doctor – anyone can have their sperm banked and can refer themselves to the unit providing they are willing to pay. Contact us if you wish to refer yourself for sperm banking.
Sperm banking process
Sperm banking starts with information. Whether it’s written, verbal or both, you need to be prepared and understand what is involved before attending.
The process is as follows:
- Information leaflet (to read and digest)
- Referral to NUH Life (by letter, phone call or email)
- Blood tests (HIV and hepatitis screening, which have to be done by law)
- Attendance for information and consent
- Specimen collection (between 1 and 3 samples)
- Samples go into storage for many years
- Follow-up (we contact you periodically for the entire storage period)
For a copy of our current patient information leaflet on sperm storage, please click on the link below.
Sperm banking follow-up
It is very important that we stay in touch with you throughout the storage period. From time to time, we will send out a standard letter as a reminder that we still have your sperm in our freezer. We check the following:
- Are aware that we still have your sperm in storage?
- Do you still want them to be kept in storage?
- Would you like to change or update your consent forms?
- Have you had a recent sperm test or would you like to book one?
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you keep in touch with us and answer any correspondence. Because it is against the law to store sperm without a valid consent, we have a legal duty to ensure all our records are up to date. In the worse-case scenario, some patient-samples have been disposed of because the patient failed to respond. For this reason we are very grateful for you returning our letters and keeping us informed with your latest address details.
If you are at all concerned about your samples in storage, please don’t hesitate to contact our laboratory team on: firstname.lastname@example.org