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A 36-year-old member asked:

my husband had bone cancer as a child and was treated with a lot of chemo. he lived! will he have fertility problems as a result? he is also not interested in sex.

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nancy Durso
Fertility Medicine 38 years experience
Possibly: Chemotherapy is used to kill off the bad cancer cells. Sometimes it also kills off normal cells. It is possible that the sperm cells were killed off either partially ( low count) or completely (no sperm at all). Low desire for sex may be related to a low amount of testosterone. He should have a blood test for testosterone and a semen analysis to find out if he will have problems.
Dr. Michael Opsahl
Fertility Medicine 43 years experience
Sperm Cnt & Chemo: Chemo can be toxic to sperm production. Some men loose all their sperm producing cells, so dr durso is correct. You should also know that the sperm can return after a number of yrs. Some men with no sperm in semen have had sperm recovered from the testes using microsurgery, then ivf with icsi. The risk of chemo depends on the drugs, the amount, and the age at treatment. Best wishes.
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Radiation Oncology 33 years experience
Possibly: Talk with him to see a urologist and have him evaluated for fertility and testosterone levels. It is possible there was an effect.
Dr. Kathleen Hong
Fertility Medicine 14 years experience
Probably: It depends on what kind of chemotherapy he received, but it has most likely affected his ability to produce sperm. The only way to know is to do a semenanalysis to see if there are any sperm in his ejaculate.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
Sorry to hear this: But childhood survivors do have lingering effects of treatment. Many agents harm germ cells for reproduction, but most do not eliminate hormone production from testis. It sounds as if this is a problem. He can be worked up by a urologist and endocrinologist for function, but talk therapy for both with a counselor in important to preserve or restore harmony.

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Last updated Jan 26, 2018
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