Between 1978 and 1990, 122 men underwent semen analysis before starting sterilising chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease. Eighty-one (66%) had semen quality within the normal range, 25 were oligospermic (<20 x 10(6) sperm per ml) and five were azoospermic (no sperm in the ejaculate). Semen from 115 men was cryopreserved and after a median follow-up time of 10.1 years, 33 men have utilised stored semen (actuarial rate 27%) and nine partners have become pregnant resulting in 11 live births and one termination for foetal malformation. Actuarial 10 year rates of destruction of semen before death or utilisation and death before utilisation are 19% and 13% respectively. This retrospective cohort study demonstrates that approximately one-quarter of men utilising cryopreserved semen after treatment for Hodgkin's disease obtain a live birth. The high non-utilisation rate is intriguing and warrants further investigation.