Some cancer treatments can impact the ability to have children. For a man, infertility means that he cannot father a child.
Cancer treatments may affect fertility, but it depends on what kinds of treatment you get.
Fertility and Men with Cancer
There may be ways to save or protect your fertility before and maybe even during treatment. Before your treatment begins, tell your health care team if you are interested in having children. Learn more.
- Cancer patients often have questions and concerns about how their treatment can affect fertility and what the available options are.
- Find the answers to common questions.
Talk to Your Health Care Team
- Before you start your cancer treatment, talk to your doctor or nurse about any concerns you have about your fertility. Here are some questions that you can ask to begin the conversation:
- Will this treatment affect my reproductive system?
- Is there anything I can do to protect my fertility before treatment begins?
- Find more questions.
A number of options are available to men to preserve fertility. Keep in mind that no treatment works 100% of the time.
Know Your Options
Learn about your fertility preservation options, which include:
- Sperm banking
- Testicular sperm extraction and epididymal sperm aspiration (these are ways to collect sperm inside your testicles)
- Radiation shielding (protecting your sperm from radiation)
- Learn more ways to preserve your fertility
Getting Help with Fertility Concerns
Find additional resources and support from organizations that can help with your fertility concerns.
Organizations That Can Help with Fertility Concerns
The American Cancer Society has a list of resources* that can help you address fertility concerns, including:
- American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine
- International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination
- LIVESTRONG Fertility
- The National Infertility Association
- Oncofertility Consortium
- Sperm Bank Directory.com
*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.
For more detailed information on support options, visit Get Support.
Talk to Your Health Care Team
Your health care team needs to know how you’re doing. Be sure to tell them about any changes you notice.
Talk to Family and Friends
Your loved ones want to support you. They can help with activities like housework, running errands, and getting to appointments. Be as specific as possible about the kind of help you need.
Find Peer Support
Talk About Your Concerns
Peer groups offer a welcoming environment to share your feelings and experiences with people who are going through the same things. Use the American Cancer Society’s Resource Search to find a peer group in your area or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 for personalized assistance.
Visit the Cancer Survivors Network Online
The Cancer Survivors Network is an online community with more than 40 discussion boards where cancer survivors share their cancer-related experiences, support one another, and exchange practical tips.
NCI Cancer Information Service
Speak to a National Cancer Institute health information specialist by calling 1-800-4-Cancer.
The National Cancer Institute offers live, online assistance through its LiveHelp service.
ACS National Cancer Information Center
Get information and tips from a cancer information specialist at the American Cancer Society by calling 1-800-227-2345. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The American Cancer Society offers live, online assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Select the Live Chat option from any page on cancer.org.
Learn More About Infertility
The American Cancer Society has additional resources to help you, including fertility and men with cancer.