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How Does Cancer Treatment Influence Male Fertility?

Infertility cases for both male and female have touched a phenomenal high in recent years. While the reasons may range from genetic to physical, medication can also be blamed for the same. A common cause of infertility in men is cancer medication. People who have undergone treatment for cancer have been found to be suffering from infertility. Certain cases can be treated with infertility treatment available at various clinics. In case of absence of any alternative, they can opt for IVF. After infertility treatment in men, those who have been exposed to a low dose of medicines stand a higher chance of reviving their fertility

Treatment Of Cancer: How Does It Affect Male Fertility?

Cancer Treatment often comprises chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy often targets the cells which multiply fast. Since the sperm cells lie within this classification, the chemotherapy medicines tend to kill these cells too. The male suffering from cancer thus ends up with infertility as a result of undergoing chemotherapy. The age of the male is also a crucial deciding factor as to how much the system will get affected.

If the person in question is a child, the cancer treatment might damage his testicles and reduce his ability to produce sperms. The testicles usually start producing sperm at around 13-14 years and continue to produce them thereafter. If the chemotherapy has damaged the testicles to an extent that they can no longer produce sperm cells,then it results in permanent infertility. Men with age above 40 are also unlikely to regain their fertility after the treatment. The type of drugs and the dosage of drugs given is also a crucial factor in deciding whether infertility will be caused or not. If the dosage administered was strong, it will take longer to recover the fertility. It might return within a span of 1-4 years but can take up to 10 years to return to normal. However, the chances of recovery are less if the sperm production doesn’t resume after 4 years.

High doses of Drugs like Actinomycin D, Busulfan, Carboplatin, Carmustine, Ifosfamide, and Lomustine can cause infertility in men with cancer. A man can suffer from infertility is he has undergone both radiation and chemotherapy in the abdominal and pelvic area. Some drugs like 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), Cytarabine (Cytosar), Mercaptopurine (6-MP), Bleomycin, Dacarbazine have a lower risk of causing male infertility if administered in low to moderate amounts.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy drugs like thalidomide or lenalidomide are linked with causing congenital defects in the fetus. It is recommended that the males taking these drugs ensure sufficient contraceptive measures to diminish any chances of getting their female partner pregnant with a malformed fetus.

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