Life After Testicular Cancer Possible Side Effect

There are many questions a male or his partner may have regarding life after testicular cancer. One common topic revolving around life after testicular cancer concerns the sexual side of life and the ability for the male to father a child with only one testicle. This is why so many doctors suggest that males use a sperm bank before undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. Males have found though that it is possible to father a child with only one testicle. Other questions revolve around the possibility of passing along cancer to a partner, or having sexual difficulties after cancer treatment. Life after testicular cancer will involve follow-up appointments and tests to check for return of the cancer. The male may be asked to make lifestyle changes in order to prevent the return of cancer.

When only one testicle has been removed during the treatment for testicular cancer the other cancer-free testicle will usually make more testosterone (male sex hormone) and sperm that will make up for the loss of the other testicle. Tiredness and possibly feeling ill may be side effects from your treatment, which would be normal. After the side effects have past, your sexual desire should return. Having gone through cancer diagnosis and treatment it would be understandable to be anxious, nervous, even scared to return to normal life.

If you had to have both of the testicles removed, you will not be producing any sperm and will therefore not be able to father a child, unless you used a sperm bank prior to your treatment for testicular cancer. You will also not be producing testosterone anymore either. This will mean that you will be given testosterone replacement therapy. This therapy is needed in order for you to have a return to normal sexual drive and so that you will be able to have and maintain an erection. The lower levels of testosterone will mean moodiness or tiredness. The testosterone replacement therapy may be in the form of injection, oral, or by rubbing a gel on the skin. Oral treatment is not usually done as the tablets were found to not be absorbed very well. The injections are usually given into the muscles of the arm or leg every 2 to 3 weeks. The latest development in testosterone replacement therapy is the skin patches. The patches give a small dose of testosterone through the skin on a continuous basis. The patch has very few side effects (some may have mild rashes), and the patch keeps the testosterone at a more even level, which reduces side effects.

If you had cancer in your lymph nodes and had retroperitoneal lymph node dissection you will ejaculate sperm into your bladder instead of out of the penis, which will mean that you are now infertile and incapable of fathering a child. This will also mean that your orgasms will be dry and therefore feel different.

Cancer is not an infectious disease, so you cannot pass along cancer to your sexual partner. You should use a condom because if you had chemotherapy because the drugs may come through the semen for up to 3 months after the last chemotherapy session. It is also important to wear a condom or take other pregnancy precautions after the radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment to avoid having an abnormal baby. Once the treatments are out of your system and you have the all clear from your doctor, you should no longer have any concerns for an abnormal baby should you father one in the future.

You should talk to your doctor if you experience any sexual difficulties after your cancer treatment. Difficulties are normal and personal but talking about them with a medical professional may help. You may be referred to a specialist at the hospital trained in dealing with these issues or you may be referred to a sex therapist. Other men have gone through the exact same things and feelings and you are not alone. Help is available.

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