​Many men are not sure whether they will be able to have children after their cancer treatment. Read the sections below for information that may apply to you.

A note about having children: There is some concern that chemotherapy patients may be at risk of fathering children with malformations. Although evidence is still unclear, use birth control for one year after you finish chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.



  • Surgery: Having one of your testicles removed should not affect your ability to father a child; however, having both testicles removed causes permanent infertility.
  • Radiation: Radiation therapy may cause a decrease in fertility, which lasts about a year or two. In a few years, your fertility may have returned to pre-treatment levels.
  • Chemotherapy: After chemotherapy, it may take two years or more for your fertility to return to normal. It is important to note that any problems you have with sperm production will not stop you from getting an erection or enjoying sex.


What you can do about it

If you chose to use a sperm bank prior to your cancer treatment, you can now discuss future family planning with your doctor.

Read “Fertility preservation for men starting cancer treatment” for more information about sperm banking [PDF, opens in new window] »


Last reviewed: 11/4/2019
Last modified: 4/18/2023 7:57 AM
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