Male Fertility Preservation

Cancer and Fertility (Onco-Fertility)

You have recently been diagnosed with cancer and you may be wondering how this will affect 
your chances of becoming a parent in the future. Your health care team is here for you. They can 
refer you to the Fertility Clinic at LHSC to help you understand the effects of your cancer treatment on your fertility and improve your chances of becoming a parent. We understand the time 
limitations and the emotional and financial stress you may be facing. The LHSC Fertility Clinic gives priority to cancer centre referrals and can meet with you to support you in reaching your goals of building a family in the future. 

What Are My Options

There are different options for preserving your fertility and these depend on many different factors such as the type of cancer, treatment, fertility status, and timing. Some procedures are offered at the LHSC Fertility Clinic and others are not. If you are interested in an experimental procedure, the clinic can help you work with locations that do offer those procedures.

Embryo freezing
(embryo cryopreservation)
This procedure is suitable for males that have reached puberty and have a committed partner. Medications will stimulate your partner’s ovaries to release eggs (oocytes). These eggs will be fertilized with your sperm in a dish (in vitro) and frozen. This option has the best success rate for pregnancy.Available in CanadaNot Covered by OHIP
ejaculated sperm 
(ejaculated sperm 
This procedure is suitable for men that have reached puberty and is done before chemotherapy or radiation. 
Approximately 2-3 semen samples are collected by masturbation and frozen. 
Available in CanadaCovered by OHIP
extracted sperm 
(extracted sperm 
This procedure is suitable for men that have reached puberty and is done before chemotherapy or radiation. It is specifically for males that cannot ejaculate, do not have working sperm in their ejaculation or have a low sperm count. The sperm can be extracted in several different ways; your fertility specialist can explain each option.Available in CanadaNot Covered by OHIP
testicular tissue 
(cryopreservation of testicular 
This procedure is suitable for boys that have not reached puberty. It involves freezing cells from the testicles. This 
procedure is still investigational and has not been shown to work effectively in humans yet.
Available in CanadaNot Covered by OHIP
Suppression of 
testicles (GnRH 
Chemotherapy can cause the testicles to stop making sperm. Researchers have been testing the idea of suppressing the testicles so that they are not as impacted by chemotherapy. This is still considered an experimental procedure. Results of animal studies have been promising; however, human studies have not shown that sperm production comes back more quickly after chemotherapy.Available in Canada (May be covered by some benefit plans)Not Covered by OHIP

Special clinical considerations for patients with certain cancers

Hematologic (blood) cancers. Some fertility therapies require a delay in treatment, and some patients may be too ill to wait. In patients with blood cancer, there is a risk in freezing tissues that may contain malignant cancer cells. Lastly, blood cancers can put patients at risk for surgical complications from some fertility procedures.

Testicular cancers. Some of these men will not be able to produce semen with any sperm in it. These men may need to have sperm extracted prior to surgical removal of testicles. 

What are the estimated costs?

The cost of each procedure varies widely. There may also be a cost for storage of frozen embryos or sperm. For financial information, you can contact the financial administrator at 519-685-8500 extension. 32687.

What happens after my treatment?

Your sperm will be safely frozen until you are ready to pursue pregnancy.

More Information

For more information, talk to your health care team. To speak with someone at The Fertility 
Clinic, call 519-663-2966 extension. 1 or visit for more information.