Carolinas HealthCare System

RE: Men and Fertility

Some types of cancer and treatments may affect male fertility. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may temporarily or permanently affect sperm count and impact the ability for men to have children.

The likelihood of male infertility after cancer depends on several factors including:

  • Type of cancer
  • Dose and duration of chemotherapy or radiation
  • Age of the patient
  • Sperm count prior to treatment

RE: Comprehensive Care for Men

Through a partnership with the CMC Women's Institute, REhope helps men understand how their diagnosis and recommended treatments may affect fertility. REhope takes a multidisciplinary approach to fertility preservation by providing comprehensive care with a team of experts including:

  • Oncologists
  • Reproductive endocrinologists
  • Urologists
  • Specially-trained nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Genetic counselors
  • Certified embryology lab staff with expertise in sperm, oocyte and embryo cryopreservation

When "high tech" treatment is needed, our physicians seek out the most effective new technologies along with the expertise of highly-trained andrology and embryology specialists.

Common Concerns

Our institute provides close coordination between you, your team of physicians and cancer care providers to address your reproductive concerns. We discuss your individual treatment plan, evaluate your chances for successful family building and review fertility preservation options.

Some common concerns may include:

  • Probability of infertility after cancer treatment.
  • Options for fertility preservation given the type of cancer.
  • Likelihood of success and cost associated with different fertility treatments.
  • Whether testicular tissue banking would be necessary.
  • Family building options if you choose not to undergo any fertility preserving treatments or have few or no sperm after cancer treatment.
  • Risks to future children of genetically transmitted cancers.
  • Options for genetic testing prior to pregnancy.

Storing Sperm

Many men have concerns about the effects cancer therapy may have on their ability to have children. Often sperm count and function are reduced immediately after chemotherapy or radiation so it is important to bank sperm prior to starting treatment.

To preserve fertility, sperm may be frozen and stored for future use following completion of cancer treatment. This process is quick and simple and allows you to freeze semen from one or more ejaculates in our accredited andrology lab.

Healthy pregnancies have been reported for sperm that has been stored for more than 15 years.

More Options

Several options are available either before or after cancer treatment depending on your individual needs:

  • Sperm banking
  • Testicular tissue banking
  • Intrauterine sperm insemination
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Donor sperm

Your Visit

During your first visit, your physician will discuss your medical history, concerns and special needs. You and your physician will devise a plan of action specifically for you. Our resources and services include the following:

Reproductive Counseling

  • Evaluate the impact of your specific cancer treatment on future fertility.
  • Assess reproductive potential before and after treatment.
  • Discuss fertility preservation options including your treatment schedule.
  • Review future pregnancy risks.
  • Assess risk to offspring for genetically transmitted cancers.
  • Consider alternative options for family building.

Fertility Preservation Services

  • Oocyte cryopreservation
  • Sperm cryopreservation
  • Embryo cryopreservation
  • Intrauterine sperm inseminations (IUI)
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Donor egg program

Call 704-446-5110 to speak with a REhope patient care coordinator for more information or to schedule an appointment.