Testicular cancer and its treatment can affect hormone levels and can also affect your ability to father children after treatment. It’s important to discuss the possible effects with your doctor before starting treatment so you are aware of the risks and what your options might be.
Most boys and men develop cancer in only one testicle. The remaining testicle usually can make enough testosterone to keep you healthy. If the other testicle needs to be removed because the cancer is in both testicles or if new cancer develops in the other testicle you will need to take some form of testosterone for the rest of your life. Most often this is a gel or patch that is put on your skin or a monthly injection given in your doctor’s office. If you need testosterone supplements, talk to your doctor about what form is best for you.
Testicular cancer or its treatment can make you infertile. Before treatment starts, men who might want to father children may consider storing sperm in a sperm bank for later use. But testicular cancer also can cause low sperm counts, which could make it hard to get a good sample.
Infertility can also be an issue later in life for boys who have had testicular cancer. If a boy has already gone through puberty, sperm banking is often a good option, since the frozen samples are not damaged by long periods of storage. Researchers are also looking at techniques that might allow younger boys to father children someday.
In some cases, if one testicle is left, fertility returns after testicular cancer has been treated. For example, fertility typically returns about 2 years after chemotherapy stops. Even when sperm counts in semen are very low, men have several options for fathering children. Be sure to discuss any fertility concerns with your doctor before your treatment begins.
After treatment, you may decide to have testicle replacement surgery in order to recreate the look and feel of two testicles. At Moorgate Andrology we offer this type of surgery, contact us now to book a consultation!