Sperm you can bank on

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 04 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1354
  1. Allan Pacey, senior (non-clinical) lecturer in andrology (
  1. University of Sheffield Medical School

    As the scientific head of a sperm bank providing a sperm storage service for men about to undergo treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy I had often pondered with colleagues and friends how I might react if I was ever given a diagnosis of cancer and needed to decide whether to bank sperm. Such discussions invariably ended in the conclusion that I would decline the offer, as for various reasons I have no desire to father children. So imagine my surprise when, aged 35 and facing an orchidectomy after having been given a diagnosis of testicular cancer, I found myself making arrangements to bank sperm as quickly as possible.

    Until then I had always been of the view that men requesting sperm banking did so in order to start or complete a family. After my own experience, however, I have questioned this view. Looking back I can only now explain my decision to bank sperm as something positive to do at an otherwise emotionally negative time. Although I had a clear understanding …

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