Many cancer treatments can affect a boy’s or a man’s fertility. Most likely, your doctor will talk with you about whether or not cancer treatment may lower fertility or cause infertility. However, not all doctors bring up this topic. Sometimes you, a family member, or parents of a child being treated for cancer may need to initiate this conversation.
Whether or not your fertility is affected depends on factors such as:
It’s important to learn how the recommended cancer treatment may affect fertility before starting treatment if at all possible. Consider asking questions such as:
Learn more about managing and coping with side effects related to Sexual Health Issues in Men.
Cancer treatments may affect your fertility
Cancer treatments are important for your future health, but they may harm reproductive organs and glands that control fertility. Changes to your fertility may be temporary or permanent. Talk with your health care team to learn what to expect based on your treatment(s):
Emotional considerations and support for fertility issues
For some men, infertility can be one of the most difficult and upsetting long-term effects of cancer treatment. Although it might feel overwhelming to think about your fertility right now, most people benefit from having talked with their doctor (or their child’s doctor, when a child is being treated for cancer) about how treatment may affect their fertility and learning about options to preserve their fertility.
Although most people want to have children at some point in their life, families can come together in many ways. For extra support during this time, reach out to your health care team with questions or concerns, as well as to professionally led support groups.
If you are the parent of a young boy or teen with cancer, this video of fertility options for young male cancer patients from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia may help you talk with your son and his doctor.
Fertility preservation options for boys and men
Men and boys with cancer have options to preserve their fertility. These procedures may be available at the hospital where you are receiving cancer treatment or at a fertility preservation clinic.
Talk with your doctor about the best option(s) for you based on your age, the type of cancer you have, and the specific treatment(s) you will be receiving. The success rate, financial cost, and availability of these procedures varies.
If you choose to take steps to preserve your fertility, your doctor and a fertility specialist will work together to develop a treatment plan that includes fertility preservation procedures whenever possible.
Finding more information, support, and clinical trials
These organizations also have information about fertility-preservation options for people with cancer:
Listen to tips on how to manage changes in sexuality and fertility caused by cancer treatments such as radiation therapy.
(Type: MP3 | Time: 3:19 | Size: 3.1MB)