Male Fertility Preservation | Men’s Health

Men’s Health

Male Fertility Preservation

Certain treatments and lifestyle choices can affect your fertility. But fertility preservation techniques like sperm banking can give you time, peace of mind and the chance for future biological children.

Medically reviewed by Marc Dall'Era, M.D. on Aug. 23, 2023.

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Helping You Plan for the Future

If you want to have a family or expand the one you have, we have fertility experts who can help make that future possible. At UC Davis Health, we offer a variety of options to preserve your ability to have children, including: 

  • Electroejaculation
  • Sperm freezing or banking (cryopreservation)
  • Surgical sperm extraction
  • Testicular shielding
  • Testicular tissue freezing (experimental)

Our Difference

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Comprehensive Options

We are partners with the California IVF Fertility Center and Northern California Fertility Medical Center (NCFMC). Through these close relationships, we offer the complete range of fertility preservation services.

Experience

NCFMC has been providing sperm preservation for men going through cancer treatments since 1992.

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Coordinated Care

Our cancer team works closely with your fertility specialists to provide a seamless experience. They make sure you receive care at the right time — even at short notice.

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What Is Male Fertility Preservation?

Male fertility refers to the ability to conceive a baby with a partner. This process involves making healthy sperm that can fertilize a female’s egg.

Certain medical conditions and treatments can affect male fertility. But there are ways you can protect your sperm and reproductive tissue to have children in the future.

Two Main Types of Male Fertility Preservation:

Sperm Cryopreservation

Sperm cryopreservation, also known as sperm banking, is the process of saving sperm for future use. Fertility specialists either collect your semen (the whitish, sperm-containing fluid you ejaculate) or sperm. They then freeze and store it.

Learn more about oncofertility and fertility preservation
Gonadal Shielding

Radiation treatment in the area of your reproductive organs can cause male infertility. Gonadal shielding involves protecting these organs from radiation damage by covering them with a lead shield.

Read more about radiation oncology
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Who Might Benefit From Fertility Preservation?

There are many reasons you may want to consider your fertility preservation options. You may be facing a medical treatment that could affect your fertility. Or you might want to store sperm when you are young and healthy. Then you can decide to have biological children when you are older.

Top reasons for fertility preservation include:

Cancer Treatment

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can affect your sperm count and sperm health. Or you may need cancer surgery in an organ important for reproduction, like your testicles or prostate.

Read more about male reproductive system cancer
Age

As you get older, you produce less healthy sperm. You are also more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, which affects your ability to ejaculate sperm.

Other Medical Treatments

You may want to preserve your ability to have biological children after a vasectomy or gender-affirming surgery. Or you may have to take a medication that affects your future fertility, such as testosterone replacement therapy. Learn more about how we treat testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS).

Certain Careers

Some jobs involve activities that could damage your reproductive organs. These jobs may be in the military, athletics or health care.

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