Do you plan on having kids? Now or in the future?
With testicular cancer, the topic of having little ones comes at you quickly — and the word “fertility” starts getting thrown around. You may be wondering if you can have a baby after testicular cancer. Or maybe kids are the furthest thing from your mind.
Most guys are surprised to hear their doctor bring up fertility. But sure enough, it’s something to think about early on in your testicular cancer journey.
Fertility really just means your ability to have kids. A high level of fertility means you’ll likely have a great chance at having a baby with a partner. Low fertility means it may be more challenging. Fertility has many factors, including your testosterone levels, sperm count and overall health.
There are a few ways to check your fertility. Because every guy is different, it’s best to go through a professional to get your test done. Talk to your urologist first about what test you’ll need, but a common way to check is having a semen analysis done.
With a semen analysis, you’ll need to give a sperm sample. Afterwards, a technician checks the size and shape of your sperm. They’ll look to see how fast the sperm moves, as well as the 'sperm count'. A high sperm count doesn’t always mean you’re fertile, and a low count doesn’t always mean there’s a big problem. The analysis will give a good picture of where you’re at.
The earlier you talk about fertility, the better. Testicular cancer and treatment could affect your future plans for kids. So right now, it’s important to understand how fertile you are, and how you can save some sperm to use later — if you want to.
That’s OK. Not everyone wants to be a dad.
But even if you don’t want children now or in the future, it’s good to get all the facts about fertility upfront. You may be surprised at what you learn. Most importantly, you’ll have a back-up plan in case you change your mind down the road.