What is sperm banking?

Sperm banking is the process of freezing and storing sperm for future use. Sperm banking may be done for Fertility Preservation for individuals who have not yet had the chance to start or complete their family, and require treatment or medication that can cause impairment or loss of fertility. The process can be also be used as back up for intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures.

Sperm Bank

When to consider sperm banking

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and cancer drugs may diminish sperm quality and quantity, or permanently prevent sperm formation or ejaculation. In order to try and preserve fertility, banking sperm before any of these treatments can be a beneficial option.

What are the steps involved?

Initial Consultation and Preliminary Testing

If you are planning on doing and IVF or IUI cycle and will be providing a back-up sperm sample you will need to discuss this with your physician at your initial consultation.

Schedule an Appointment

You may make an appointment by contacting the Sperm Bank secretary at: [email protected] or 416-586-4800 ext. 2316. Appointments take place Monday – Friday.

Sperm Banking Appointment

Allow about an hour for your appointment as it will involve (a) providing a sperm sample and (b) providing payment for service. Please make sure to bring your OHIP card. Please note, in urgent situations, the initial consultation, testing and banking appointments will be made on the same day.

Sperm Wash and Cryopreservation

The andrologists in the lab will process the sperm, dividing each ejaculation into different vials or straws. They will also assess the quality and quantity of the sperm. The sperm then goes through a washing process in the laboratory and is then frozen for future use. On average, about 30 % of the original sperm sample does not survive the freezing and thawing process.

Visit our Fees page to learn more about the costs of sperm banking.

Sperm sample collection instructions

  • Sample must be collected after 2-5 days* of sexual abstinence (no ejaculating/having intercourse). Ejaculating more or less often than this can lead to lower sperm count.
  • Urinate and wash hands (ensuring that you rinse all soap off) before producing the sample. This helps to keep the sample as sterile as possible.
  • Do not use a regular condom for collection.
  • Do not use gels, creams, lotions, lubricants or saliva. These agents may harm the ability of the sperm to move properly.

 

Collecting the sperm sample at the clinic

  • Samples are collected in a sterile specimen container and must be produced by masturbation only.
  • Do not touch the inside of the cover or container with your hands or genital area.
  • Collect entire ejaculate. If collection is not complete, please inform staff when handing in the specimen. Do not put any substances or body fluids other than semen into container. Please note that you do not need to fill the entire container.
  • Bring sample directly to Andrology Laboratory (by collection rooms) and press buzzer just outside the “Specimen Drop-Off” window location.

 

Collecting the sperm sample at home

If using the sterile specimen container provided by clinic, please follow the “Collecting the sperm sample at the clinic” instructions above.

 

If using a collection condom (must be purchased at clinic)

  • The collection condom allows for sample collection during sexual intercourse but needs to be placed on head of erect penis before any sexual contact.
  • Make sure to leave space at the tip.
  • Immediately after ejaculation, hold condom in place, withdraw penis while still erect and avoid spilling semen.
  • Do not attempt to remove the sample from the condom; simply place the condom in the Ziploc bag provided, with the tip of the condom facing up to prevent spill during transport.

 

If difficulty producing the sample

We recommend making two attempts at our clinic, followed by one attempt at home (if unsuccessful at clinic). Please see above for home collection instructions.

How to transport the sample to the clinic

  • Make sure your specimen container is labelled with your full name, date and time of collection.
  • Bring the sample to the clinic within one hour of collection and keep it at body temperature
    (i.e. in your shirt, under your arm or in your pocket). Sperm samples can be harmed if the temperature is too hot or cold.
  • Once at the clinic, register at the front desk and bring the sample to the Andrology Laboratory. Press the buzzer just outside the “Specimen Drop-Off” window.
  • If you do not closely follow the above instructions, the sample will likely not be usable and you will be required to provide another sample and/or schedule another appointment.

When to consider sperm banking

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and cancer drugs may diminish sperm quality and quantity, or permanently prevent sperm formation or ejaculation. In order to try and preserve fertility, banking sperm before any of these treatments can be a beneficial option.

What are the steps involved?

Initial Consultation and Preliminary Testing

If you are planning on doing and IVF or IUI cycle and will be providing a back-up sperm sample you will need to discuss this with your physician at your initial consultation.

Schedule an Appointment

You may make an appointment by contacting the Sperm Bank secretary at: [email protected] or 416-586-4800 ext. 2316. Appointments take place Monday – Friday.

Sperm Banking Appointment

Allow about an hour for your appointment as it will involve (a) providing a sperm sample and (b) providing payment for service. Please make sure to bring your OHIP card. Please note, in urgent situations, the initial consultation, testing and banking appointments will be made on the same day.

Sperm Wash and Cryopreservation

The andrologists in the lab will process the sperm, dividing each ejaculation into different vials or straws. They will also assess the quality and quantity of the sperm. The sperm then goes through a washing process in the laboratory and is then frozen for future use. On average, about 30 % of the original sperm sample does not survive the freezing and thawing process.

Visit our Fees page to learn more about the costs of sperm banking.

Sperm sample collection instructions

  • Sample must be collected after 2-5 days* of sexual abstinence (no ejaculating/having intercourse). Ejaculating more or less often than this can lead to lower sperm count.
  • Urinate and wash hands (ensuring that you rinse all soap off) before producing the sample. This helps to keep the sample as sterile as possible.
  • Do not use a regular condom for collection.
  • Do not use gels, creams, lotions, lubricants or saliva. These agents may harm the ability of the sperm to move properly.

 

Collecting the sperm sample at the clinic

  • Samples are collected in a sterile specimen container and must be produced by masturbation only.
  • Do not touch the inside of the cover or container with your hands or genital area.
  • Collect entire ejaculate. If collection is not complete, please inform staff when handing in the specimen. Do not put any substances or body fluids other than semen into container. Please note that you do not need to fill the entire container.
  • Bring sample directly to Andrology Laboratory (by collection rooms) and press buzzer just outside the “Specimen Drop-Off” window location.

 

Collecting the sperm sample at home

If using the sterile specimen container provided by clinic, please follow the “Collecting the sperm sample at the clinic” instructions above.

 

If using a collection condom (must be purchased at clinic)

  • The collection condom allows for sample collection during sexual intercourse but needs to be placed on head of erect penis before any sexual contact.
  • Make sure to leave space at the tip.
  • Immediately after ejaculation, hold condom in place, withdraw penis while still erect and avoid spilling semen.
  • Do not attempt to remove the sample from the condom; simply place the condom in the Ziploc bag provided, with the tip of the condom facing up to prevent spill during transport.

 

If difficulty producing the sample

We recommend making two attempts at our clinic, followed by one attempt at home (if unsuccessful at clinic). Please see above for home collection instructions.

How to transport the sample to the clinic

  • Make sure your specimen container is labelled with your full name, date and time of collection.
  • Bring the sample to the clinic within one hour of collection and keep it at body temperature
    (i.e. in your shirt, under your arm or in your pocket). Sperm samples can be harmed if the temperature is too hot or cold.
  • Once at the clinic, register at the front desk and bring the sample to the Andrology Laboratory. Press the buzzer just outside the “Specimen Drop-Off” window.
  • If you do not closely follow the above instructions, the sample will likely not be usable and you will be required to provide another sample and/or schedule another appointment.

How much does sperm banking cost

Visit our Fees page to learn more about the costs of sperm banking.