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Cryopreservation

This is the freezing and storage of eggs, sperm or embryos for use at a later date.

Sperm

Some patients will need to store sperm prior to treatment these include:

  • Patients who may have problems producing a sample on the day of treatment (known as a back up sample)

  • Patients who produce retrograde ejaculation samples

  • Patients who have very poor sperm meaning that more than one sample is required for treatment

  • Patients who are undergoing surgical sperm retrieval (SSR)

Sperm cryopreservation or 'sperm banking' is a non invasive procedure which involves producing a sample in one of the clinics private sample production rooms. If appropriate, provisions can be made for samples to be produced at home. Current NHS funding allows for samples to be stored for 1 year, after this time funding stops and you will be charged a fee to keep the samples in storage. Please click here for a price list.

There is no current NHS funding for patients undergoing gender reassignment. We do offer this service on a private basis and you can find out more in the information booklet at the foot of this page.

 

Eggs

Currently there is no NHS funding for women to store their eggs unless they are undergoing cancer treatment. If you wish to freeze eggs for social reasons you can do so on a private basis, click here for more information.  

 

Embryos

Embryo cryopreservation takes place at the end of a fresh cycle of IVF or ICSI. An embryologist will tell you if your embryos are suitable for freezing. Due to the nature of cryopreservation top quality embryos can be used; this means not all embryos are able to be frozen.

Embryo freezing takes place after embryo transfer. Current NHS funding allows for samples to stored for 3 years, after this time funding stops and you will be charged a fee to keep the samples in storage. Please click here for a price list.

 

Oncology fertility cryopreservation

The freezing and storage of sperm, egg or embryos must take place prior to any radiotherapy or chemotherapy taking place. Referral is made via your oncology/ surgical clinic to Leicester Fertility Centre. The clinic has good links to the oncology departments within the University Hospitals of Leicester, and referral forms are available to all departments; however if a referral form is needed one can be faxed by calling 0116 258 5922. 

Sperm cryo-preservation or 'sperm banking' is a non invasive procedure which involves producing a sample in one of the clinic's private sample production rooms. If appropriate provisions can be made for samples to be produced at home. Please speak to your oncologist who will lease with the clinic.

Egg cryopreservation or 'egg freezing' involves the patient undergoing the same stimulation of the ovaries and egg collection as a patient undergoing an IVF cycle. This involves the use of hormone injections, for this reason egg freezing may not be appropriate for some patients with cancers which are controlled by the same hormones. For more information on your cancer and whether cryopreservation is appropriate please speak to your oncologist.

Embryo cryopreservation is also available and carries the same risks as egg freezing.  

 

 

All cryo-preservation patients must have additional blood tests and sign HFEA consent forms prior to storage. Counselling is offered prior to, during and after storage. We are unable to keep samples in storage without written consent from the patient who provided the gametes.