Sperm Preservation Service

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Sperm cryopreservation adult/adolescent

Some cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgical interventions can cause infertility by damaging testicular tissue.

Damage can be temporary or permanent.

The chance of permanent testicular damage depends on many factors such as

  • the type, dose, and duration of chemotherapy
  • dose and site of radiation therapy
  • type of surgical procedure.

In some instances, the effects of treatment may be reversible. However for some people, fertility may be severely compromised or may never return.

It is important to discuss the risks of treatment on fertility as early as possible. once a diagnosis or treatment plan is made.

If the patient is interested in fertility preservation (interested in having children in the future) or is unsure, please refer the patient to cryopreserve sperm as soon as possible. This is a straightforward process.


  1. Age: Pubertal (ideally 16 years and older)
    Note: The Royal Children's Hospital also offers oncofertility services for adolescents seeking fertility preservation, including sperm cryopreservation.
  2. People who are about to undertake therapies or treatments that may impact their fertility and future ability to conceive including:


    • chemotherapy
    • surgical intervention, such as orchidectomy
    • total body irradiation or radiation to pelvis
    • gender reassignment.

Referral process

Please see the andrology requests slip in related downloads

  • fill out the patient details or use a URN
  • please use the clinical indications to describe the situation and urgency
  • email or fax the slip to the Andrology Department
  • if the appointment is urgent (i.e. same day), please contact the Andrology Unit via phone first:

Andrology Unit and Sperm Bank (The Royal Women's Hospital)
321 Cardigan Street
Carlton VIC 3053

Phone Number                     8345 3992

Fax number                           8345 3990

Email (Laboratory)               click here to email

If an urgent appointment is needed to freeze sperm, please instruct your patient to contact our Andrology Unit directly.

If the patient wishes to see a fertility specialist before treatment and/or freezing sperm, please send an urgent referral to Fertility Preservation at the Reproductive Services Unit. The referral link is at the bottom of this page.

If the patient wishes to speak to a fertility specialist after treatment finishes, please send a non-urgent referral to Fertility Preservation at Reproductive Services. Please include whether the patient has frozen sperm or not.

If the patient does not wish to have a review within the year, a referral to us can be made at any time by their GP or specialist.

Difficulty providing a semen sample

If your patient has difficulty providing a semen sample by masturbation, please contact us to speak to the Fertility Preservation Nurse directly: (03) 8345 3227.

It is possible the patient may need to have an invasive procedure to extract sperm. This procedure is known as a fine needle testicular biopsy and involves local anaesthetic.

This will need to be evaluated by our Reproductive Service Unit clinicians during a consultation. The procedure would be completed within our Reproductive Services Unit. There is no cost associated with the procedure itself.