Male Fertility


Fertility Preservation for Men:

Taking Protective Measures at Midwest Reproductive Center

The sudden need for fertility preservation, like facing the crisis of male infertility, often catches men

off-guard. When a cancer diagnosis or other medical condition threatens your future ability to father a child, Dr. Dan Gehlbach with Midwest Reproductive Center can help formulate a preventative plan.

“I have cancer. Will I still be able to have children one day?”

In most cases, it is not cancer that causes infertility, but rather the treatment. Radiation and/or chemotherapy can temporarily or permanently destroy sperm, impacting a man’s ability to produce children. Fortunately, cancer treatment will not typically interfere with your hormone function or long-term sexual performance.

Fertility preservation involves collecting, freezing and storing genetic material, such as sperm, eggs, embryos and tissues, in case cancer treatment leads to infertility.

Assisted reproductive technology will give you a good chance to start a family when you are ready. Even a sample with very few sperm can lead to a pregnancy when fertility doctors employ intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

How Fertility Preservation for Men Works

After a cancer diagnosis, or even during treatment, contact a fertility doctor like Dr. Gehlbach to initiate fertility preservation.

Fertility Preservation Consultation

Once you decide to pursue fertility preservation, the support staff at Midwest Reproductive Center will fast-track your case, and Dr. Gehlbach will consult with your oncologist. Your age, type of cancer, affected area and cancer treatment plan will all come in to play as Dr. Gehlbach prepares a fertility preservation treatment plan and timeline.

Collecting Sperm for Freezing

Dr. Gehlbach and our fertility laboratory director oversee a process to collect and freeze (cryopreserve) sperm. Collection takes place at Midwest Reproductive Center, and we generally recommend allowing several days to produce multiple semen samples. In a few specialized cases, surgical removal of sperm provides an alternative to masturbation and ejaculation.

Instructions for providing viable sperm samples are available on our website.

Banking sperm for the Future

Sperm banks store samples indefinitely and offer the option to donate or discard unused sperm. Dr. Gehlbach can provide referrals to accredited sperm banks in the Kansas City area.

Alternative Options for Fertility Preservation

Ask your treating physician about the possibility of reducing radiation dosage in the pelvic area, hormonal medications to protect the reproductive system, or banking testicular tissue.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology: “Up to 90% of cancer patients in their reproductive years may be at risk of permanent infertility. Yet, few utilize fertility preservation (FP) technologies.”

Dr. Gehlbach and his support staff believe that knowledge is power. Beating the cancer is, above all, a priority. However, the disease of infertility needn’t rob you of your future reproductive health when the crisis has passed. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, contact our office about fertility preservation.