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IVF success with 21-year old sperm

25 May 2004   |   News story
A couple have successfully given birth to a child conceived using 21-year old sperm. Dr Elizabeth Pease at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, has said, “We believe this is the longest period of sperm cryopreservation resulting in a live birth so far reported.” The man had had his sperm frozen at age 17 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer treatment rendered him infertile. As UK regulations allow men to freeze sperm until they are aged 55, he was able to store it until he was interested in having a family. The man’s partner underwent four rounds of IVF treatment using his frozen sperm before conceiving. This success will reassure other young men facing cancer treatment that long-term freezing can be successful. However, as Dr Pease noted, the couple would not have been able to have their child on the NHS as new guidance, to be in force by April 2005, will only allow one free round of IVF for infertile couples. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended three rounds of IVF be given for couples with proven infertility (see newsletter article February 2004)

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