Many cancer treatments can affect a man’s fertility and this effect can be temporary or permanent.

Fertility is your ability to father a child. Infertility is when you are not able to father a child.

Other cancers may not directly cause infertility. In most cases, infertility is actually caused by the treatment for the cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiation, rather than the cancer itself.

It is important to understand that while cancer treatments can be very effective, they can cause side effects that harm the ability to reproduce.

Fertility problems from cancer or cancer treatment occur in 2 main ways:

  • Damage to endocrine glands or endocrine-related organs. Endocrine glands and endocrine-related organs include the testes, thyroid, and adrenal glands. These glands and organs release hormones that stimulate puberty and control fertility.
  • Changes in the part of the brain that controls the endocrine system.

There are several concerns from treatment affect fertility for men:

  • Damage to the sperm.
  • Lowered ability to make new sperm.
  • Low or no production of semen. Semen is the fluid made in the prostate that carries sperm during sex.