(HealthDay News) – A considerable proportion of male cancer survivors do not attend follow-up appointments to monitor their fertility or to discuss disposal of banked sperm, according to a study presented at Fertility 2013, held from Jan. 3–5 in Liverpool, U.K.
Allan Pacey, PhD, from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues sent a questionnaire to 499 male cancer survivors aged 18–55 years who had undergone cancer treatment >5 years previously which may have affected their fertility and had banked sperm. Among 193 respondents, views were assessed regarding sperm banking, fertility, and post-treatment fertility testing (semen analysis).
The researchers found that 35.8% of the respondents had never attended a follow-up appointment to evaluate their fertility. About one-third (32.6%) had attended on one occasion. Men who had suffered fewer side effects during treatment, had a more negative experience of banking sperm, and had a more negative attitude to sperm disposal were more likely to have not attended. Non-attendance for semen analysis was not correlated with post-treatment follow-up with cancer specialists.
“Trying to engage men with this subject is notoriously difficult,” Pacey said in a statement. “Our research suggests that there is a need to educate men about the benefits of attending follow-up fertility clinics and the long-term consequences of non-attendance.”