We work with storage facilities to offer fertility preservation options for boys who have started puberty. Our medical team can help assess a child’s pubertal status. We can explain your fertility preservation options, including potential risks, cost and likelihood of success, and connect you with knowledgeable specialists. We can also explain experimental options that may be available for young boys who have not started puberty.
Additional discussion and further details of each option can be provided during fertility team consultation.
Sperm banking is the best option for boys who can produce a sperm sample, including those who are going through puberty (typically 13 or older) or have already completed pubertal development. A semen sample is obtained from self-stimulation (masturbation), processed and stored frozen for future use. This sample is preferentially obtained at the sperm banking facility. In some cases, the sample can be produced elsewhere (such as at home) and brought to the facility.
Testicular Sperm Extraction and Banking
This option is used for boys who have shown some early pubertal changes but are not able to produce a semen sample through self-stimulation. This requires a small surgical procedure; if the patient requires other surgical procedures, this can be done in conjunction.
Under general anesthesia, sperm is aspirated from the testicle using a small needle and vacuum device. Alternatively, in some boys, an open biopsy with sperm retrieval techniques may be used. These sperm are processed and similarly stored frozen for later use. Both techniques have very low complication rates, which will be reviewed prior to the procedure.
Testicular Tissue Preservation
This experimental procedure involves surgically removing part of the testicle and storing it for later use. Testicular tissue preservation is currently the only option for boys who have not yet started puberty, and is being done across the country at a limited number of institutions as part of research protocols. We can connect you to these centers if you want to pursue this option.