• Mayo Clinic Minute

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Can testicular cancer affect fertility?

It's a common concern among men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer. Will I be able to have children in the future?

So what are the effects of testicular cancer and its treatment on fertility?

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

"When we first evaluate men with a new suspected testicular cancer, we do talk about fertility," says Dr. Bradley Leibovich, a urologic oncologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Leibovich says it's one of the top questions he hears from men with testicular cancer: Can I still have kids?

"Men with testicular cancer have fertility concerns because the testicular cancer itself can impact fertility and our treatments can impact fertility. So the first thing we do with men that are interested in preserving fertility is talk about sperm banking," says Dr. Leibovich.

One side effect of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments can be infertility, which is why it's important for men who still want to have children after their cancer is cured to save their sperm before they start treatment.

"Fertility issues we normally address up front by assuring that men sperm bank, so it's rare that's a long-term concern for men," he says.

Another concern is lower levels of testosterone, a hormone produced primarily in the testicles.

"Most men have normal testosterone levels with just one testicle. For men that do wind up with a lower level of testosterone, it's really easy to replace," says Dr. Leibovich.

Under the guidance of a healthcare professional, testosterone replacement therapy, in the form of injections, pills, patches or gels, can restore normal testosterone levels in men.