Monday, April 12, 2010

Husband Has Prostate Cancer & Has Banked Sperm: How Many "Straws" Of Sperm Are Needed For IVF?


My husband has prostate cancer and was referred for sperm banking. He's ready to start hormone treatment but the lab techs don't know if he's stored enough sperm. They said to ask our doctor, but as we're not under a fertillity specialist yet no one seems to know.

He has 43 or 48 straws stored from 3 banks (can't remember which they said). Is this enough? How many cycles of IVF might this equate to? I think motility was lower than average.

Thanks. S. From Germany


Hello S. from Germany,

Only one "straw" of sperm is required per IVF cycle, and I would doubt that you would need to do IVF 43-48 times. It is safe to say you have banked enough sperm.

Sperm is usually washed and frozen in alloquats of 0.3-0.5 ml each. I presume that is what your sperm bank did. With that amount, you will have to do ICSI with your IVF cycle and so you would only need enough sperm for the number of eggs that are retrieved.

Good Luck to you and your husband,

Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.

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