Testosterone levels and infertility can be affected by cancer treatment, but it differs from person to person.
Testicular cancer normally only develops in one testicle. If that testicle is removed, the other testicle can usually make enough testosterone to keep hormone levels up. The age of the person and the pre-treatment gonadal function also play a large role in the testosterone level after treatment.
However, if the both testicles have been removed or if a new cancer develops, supplemental testosterone can be given. Most often this is in the form of a gel or patch that is put on the skin or a monthly shot.
Men who develop testicular cancer can also experience issues with fertility, with chemotherapy and radiation patients being at the highest risk for infertility. Patients who undergo a non-nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection are likely to have fertility issues due to problems with ejaculation. However, sperm banking is offered to patients prior to starting cancer treatment if fatherhood is something the patient wants to consider. Additional options, like in vitro fertilization, also exist to help men father children post-treatment.
Concerned about infertility or low hormone levels?
Call our cancer care experts at 800-777-7775 to have your questions answered.