The Testicular Cancer Awareness Network

Fertility after losing both testicles

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My friend definitely has to have one testicle removed, and may have to have both removed, for testicular cancer. Can he give sperm samples beforehand to keep his fertility?

When a man has one testicle removed, and surgery is the only treatment, then there are usually no lasting side effects. The other testicle will make more testosterone and sperm to make up for the one that has been removed. If both testicles are removed, then unfortunately, he will be infertile.

Because your friend will not know exactly what is being done until after his operation, it would be best to discuss the possibility of sperm banking with his specialist (consultant) before surgery. Then he will have the option to father a child in the future.

The vast majority of men are able to father children after having testicular cancer. A survey of men treated between 1982 and 1992 showed that 77 out of every 100 (77%) were able to father a child and another 5 out of 100 (5%) did so after having fertility treatment. So that's over 8 out of 10 (80%) who wanted to father a child after testicular cancer were able to do so.

The biggest risk to fertility is chemotherapy. Your friend's doctor may not know if this is necessary until after his surgery. But even after chemotherapy about 7 out of 10 (70%) men are able to father children. It isn't possible to tell beforehand who will be infertile permanently from chemotherapy . So because of this risk, most men diagnosed with testicular cancer store sperm before they start the treatment.