Q: ”My fiancé has testicular cancer and had chemotherapy almost two years ago. We have been told this could affect his fertility. Could you give me some information on how likely this is and on what treatments are available for infertility? My fiancé has had one of his testicles removed and he donated sperm before the treatment was done.”
A: Obviously the specialist who treated your fiancé thought to preserve his chances of becoming a genetic father by storing some of his sperm. It is possible that his one remaining testicle will recover but this will depend on many things including his age, the dose of radiotherapy or chemotherapy he received, and the type of drugs used.
The stored sperm is an insurance policy but, whether this is ever used or not will depend on your social situation and whether your fiancé’s treatment is thought to have been totally successful. Remember also that not all sperm samples freeze and store easily, particularly when the man has had a cancer of his testicle as the sperm are not of the best quality to start with. Artificial insemination may take many cycles to work or not work at all if the sperm has not survived the freezing and thawing process.
If you were to conceive through natural intercourse in the future there is no greater chance of the baby being abnormal despite the chemotherapy.
Finally, there might be the possibility of using donated sperm, or even of adoption although this is not always a popular alternative for couples in your situation.
Steve Killick, Babyworld Fertility Expert.