Men: Cancer Diagnosis and Preserving Your Fertility
Most men are likely never to worry about their sperm quality or quantity until they want to have a child. When you have cancer, it only complicates the matter. Still, having cancer doesn’t mean you can’t have children. Depending on your age, state of health, the kind of cancer you have, and the kind of treatment you receive, your fertility may or may not be affected.
Radiation or chemotherapy can damage the sperm that develops within a man’s testes and epididymis, although the degree of damage is often difficult to measure. If DNA of the sperm is affected, this may make it impossible for the sperm to fertilize an egg and even if fertilization does occur, the embryo may not develop correctly. With our team of skilled specialists, CNY Fertility can assess various qualities related to the health of one’s sperm, including the movement (motility), overall appearance, and shape of the sperm.
Before assuming that you are infertile, know that our specialists can also measure your sperm concentration and hormone levels, which are both important components in establishing the status of your fertility. The level of hormones, such as testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), can reveal how well the testicles are functioning to produce sperm.
The average man has 60-80 million sperm per mL of ejaculate. If your sperm concentration drops below 20 million sperm per mL, your fertility is defined as low or compromised. Having no sperm labels you as sterile. Note: infertility and sterility are not the same as impotence, which involves sexual functioning and the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sex.
In addition to being tested, educating yourself on matters of cancer and fertility is a must. Remember, our practitioners are a useful source of information! You may need help getting started, so here are some questions you can ask your doctor:
1. How is cancer affecting my health right now?
2. How quickly do I need to start treatment?
3. Will my cancer or the treatment I am to receive affect my future fertility?
4. Can I impregnate someone while receiving treatment? What are the risks associated with this?
5. What are my best fertility options before, during, and after treatment?
6. Will any of these options diminish the effectiveness of my treatment or increase the risk of my cancer returning?
7. Can I have a child after my cancer?
8. Where can I find support for coping with fertility problems?
What are my options?
• Sperm banking
* Masturbation * Alternative Collection
• Radiation shielding of gonads
• Testicular tissue freezing
• Testicular sperm extraction
• Donor sperm
• Natural Fertilization
Male reproductive options chart
NOTE: At CNY Fertility Center we understand the emotional impact of being diagnosed with cancer, as well as the added concerns about your future family building efforts. We are here to assist you and will see clients diagnosed with cancer on very short notice. Whether your insurance covers fertility preservation costs or not, we will help you find a way to cover the costs. Call us today at 800-539-9870 or fill out our consultation request form here.