Can Testicular Cancer Cause Infertility

testicular cancer and infertility

Your fertility means being able to make someone pregnant. If you’ve been diagnosed with testicular cancer, there are measures you can pursue to enhance your prospects of becoming a parent.

Whether you can still impregnate a woman or not is what we will cover in this post. Keep reading on.

What is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles and the male reproductive organs. It is the most common cancer in men between 15 and 35.

Testicular cancer or the treatment it requires can result in infertility, rendering you unable to father a child.
Before commencing treatment, men interested in future fatherhood may contemplate preserving their sperm in a sperm bank.
However, testicular cancer can also lead to reduced sperm counts, potentially complicating obtaining a high-quality sample.

testicular cancer

What Causes Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is a form of cancer that originates in the testicles, a component of the male reproductive system.

The risk of infertility from testicular cancer depends on many factors, including the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer, and the treatment.
Men who have testicular cancer that is confined to the testicle and who are treated with surgery alone have a relatively low risk of infertility.

Although the precise cause of testicular cancer is not always evident, several factors that elevate the risk of developing this cancer have been identified. These risk factors include:

  1. Age: Testicular cancer is most frequently detected in young to middle-aged men, with the highest risk typically occurring between 20 and 35.
  2. Cryptorchidism: This is a condition where one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum during fetal development. Men with a history of cryptorchidism have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.
  3. Family History: A family history of testicular cancer can increase the risk, especially if a close relative (such as a father or brother) has had the disease.
  4. Genetic Factors: Some genetic conditions, like Klinefelter syndrome, may elevate the risk of developing testicular cancer.
  5. Race and Ethnicity: Testicular cancer is more common in white men than in men of other racial or ethnic backgrounds.
  6. HIV Infection: Men with HIV have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer.
  7. Environmental Factors: There is ongoing research into potential environmental factors and exposures, such as endocrine disruptors, that may contribute to the development of testicular cancer.

Note: Having these risk factors does not mean you will develop testicular cancer. Most men with these risk factors will never develop the disease.

How Can Testicular Cancer Cause Infertility

Typically, testicular cancer impacts one testicle, leaving the other testicle to continue producing testosterone and sperm. It’s rare that you’ll need both testicles removed and can no longer produce sperm.
Should you require surgery to remove one testicle, your ability to conceive naturally should remain intact.
A single testicle can produce sufficient testosterone for achieving an erection and ejaculation, and it should also supply enough sperm for successful conception.

If you are diagnosed with testicular cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks of infertility.
Your doctor can aid you with options for preserving your fertility, such as sperm banking.
Here are some of the ways that testicular cancer can cause infertility:

  • Direct damage to the testicles: The cancer can damage the testicles and prevent them from producing sperm.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Testicular cancer can lead to hormonal imbalances, affecting sperm production.
  • Scarring: The surgery to remove the testicle can cause scarring, which can also damage the testicles and lead to infertility.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can damage the testicles and lead to infertility.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can damage the testicles and lead to infertility.

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Things to do to Preserve Your Fertility

If you are planning to have children, it is important to start taking steps to preserve your fertility as early as possible.
Adopting healthy lifestyle practices and scheduling regular checkups can improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

Here are some of the things you can do to preserve your fertility:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: A nutritious diet is vital for overall well-being and can enhance fertility.
  • Keep a healthy weight: Excess weight or obesity can impact fertility. Strive to maintain a healthy weight appropriate for your height and age.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking can damage your fertility. For your health and fertility, the most beneficial action you can take is quitting smoking if you are a smoker.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can affect fertility. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Manage stress: Stress can affect fertility. Discover effective methods to cope with stress healthily, such as engaging in exercise, yoga, or meditation.
  • Schedule regular checkups: Make appointments with your doctor for routine examinations, including a pap smear and pelvic exam for women. It can help to identify any potential problems early on.
  • Consider fertility preservation: If you are concerned about your fertility, you may want to consider fertility preservation. It involves storing eggs, sperm, or embryos for future use.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin: A prenatal vitamin can help ensure you get the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.


Yes, testicular cancer can potentially cause infertility in some cases. These causes are based on the factors listed above.

It’s important for individuals diagnosed with testicular cancer to have open discussions with their healthcare providers about their fertility concerns.
Fertility preservation options and potential risks can vary from person to person, so a personalized approach is crucial.

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