Hong Kong Med J 2013;19:525–30 | Number 6, December 2013 | Epub 21 Oct 2013
Sperm cryopreservation for Chinese male cancer patients: a 17-year retrospective analysis in an assisted reproductive unit in Hong Kong
Jacqueline PW Chung, Christopher J Haines, Grace WS Kong
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To review sperm cryopreservation usage rates, corresponding reproductive outcomes, and the current situation in our locality.
DESIGN. Retrospective case series.
SETTING. Assisted Reproductive Technology Unit of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prince of Wales Hospital and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS. There were 130 Chinese male patients who underwent sperm cryopreservation before proceeding to gonadotoxic treatment from January 1995 to January 2012.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Demographic data, type of cancers and treatments, semen analysis, and reproductive outcomes.
RESULTS. The median patient age was 27 (range, 15-43) years. Most (85%) were single at the time of referral. Over half of the patients (51%) had testicular cancer. Five patients declined sperm cryopreservation after counselling. Among the remaining 125 men, 122 men were able to produce sperm by masturbation but 12 were found to have azoospermia, leaving a total of 110 who proceeded to semen cryopreservation. There were no significant differences in semen parameters between different cancer types. After gonadotoxic treatment, in up to 32% (n=11/34) of the patients, semen analysis yielded deterioration; four patients had azoospermia. Four patients (4%, n=4/110) came back to use their thawed semen for in-vitro fertilisation (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), which resulted in three successful singleton pregnancies.
CONCLUSION. Sperm cryopreservation is a simple and effective way of preserving the fertility potential of male patients undergoing gonadotoxic treatment. This procedure is underutilised and deserves increased awareness by all possible means.
Key words: Cryopreservation; Fertility preservation; Infertility, male; Sperm banks; Testicular neoplasms
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