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Chemo & Your Future Family

Certain chemotherapy drugs may impact men’s fertility. Such treatment may reduce the number of sperm the male cancer patient produces and impact the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.

Don’t let one problem to be the cause of another. With male cancer patients can freeze and store their sperm before chemo starts, from the comfort of their own home. To learn more about our home sperm freezing kit and our process click here.

Chemotherapy and Male Fertility

The infertility caused by chemotherapy treatments may be temporary or permanent, depends on the drugs, doses and age of the cancer patient.

The chemotherapy drugs with the highest risk for male infertility are the following:

Actinomycin D, Busulfan, Carboplatin, Carmustine, Chlorambucil, Cisplatin, Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), Cytarabine, Ifosfamide, Lomustine, Melphalan, Nitrogen mustard (mechlorethamine), Procarbazine.

Some drugs, such as those listed below, have a lower risk of causing male infertility, as long as they are given in low to moderate doses:

5-fluorouracil (5-FU), 6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP), Bleomycin, Cytarabine (Cytosar®), Dacarbazine, Daunorubicin (Daunomycin®), Doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), Epirubicin, Etoposide (VP-16), Fludarabine, Methotrexate, Mitoxantrone, Thioguanine (6-TG), Thiotepa, Vinblastine (Velban®), Vincristine (Oncovin®).

It is almost impossible to predict which men will become infertile as a result of their chemotherapy treatments.

Fertility Preservation for Male Cancer Patients

Male cancer patients who will undergo potentially-sterilizing chemotherapy treatment can prospectively cryopreserve their sperm for a later use for procreation in the fertility clinic of their choice via in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Male cancer patients can freeze and store their sperm and focus on beating cancer without worrying about their potential infertility.

In cases where the male cancer patient cannot delay his treatment, he may be limited to one or two sperm sample collections. However, with the available fertility techniques (IVF & ICSI) one or two sperm samples may be sufficient.

Samples are best collected prior to starting treatment for cancer, but can still be collected after the treatment has started. In the cases where the sperm collection takes place after the cancer treatment has begun, the cancer patient should be aware of the possibility of genetic damage to the sperm collected. In this regard, note that there are no statistics on the probability of damage and subsequent risk to the future newborns.

Don’t let cancer beat your dream of a future family. Order home sperm freezing kit to preserve your fertility today from the comfort of your own home.


Disclaimer: provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words, views, and other content provided here, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader, or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately.

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