Can I Get Pregnant If My Partner Had Testicular Cancer?

by Tessa Shull

Although testicular cancer is not extremely common, it can become a worry among couples who've dealt with it during the years they'd like to try to conceive. Women who are thinking of getting pregnant after their significant other has gone through testicular cancer often wonder, "Can I get pregnant if my partner had testicular cancer?" The answer, unfortunately, varies from person to person.

There's a lot of information and outside factors to take into consideration when it comes to fertility and testicular cancer. According to Cancer Research UK, a large majority of men have one testicle removed to treat their cancer. On its own, removing just one testicle should not affect the ability for a man to get a woman pregnant. The addition of chemotherapy or the removal of lymph glands in the male's abdomen, however, does pose a risk to infertility. The risk, luckily, isn't as scary as it may initially sound.

The aforementioned Cancer Research UK article also shared that around 70 percent of men who've had chemotherapy in relation to testicular cancer are still able to produce biological children. The 30 percent who struggle with infertility afterwards are generally those who've undergone very high doses of chemotherapy.

Additionally, the rare amount of men who undergo the removal of lymph glands may experience retrograde ejaculation, according to the American Cancer Society. This means sperm goes into the bladder instead of coming out through the penis. Although this may take away the ability for you to become pregnant by having sex with your partner, there's still the option to remove sperm directly from the testicle. In this case, you can proceed with in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

The previously mentioned Cancer Research UK article shared that, for men who may undergo radiotherapy for lymph glands in their abdomen, there's a small chance the remaining testicle may receive some of that radiation. This shouldn't affect fertility, but doctors do strongly advise that you wait up to a year to start having children. Luckily, sperm is constantly being made, so the affects of radiation should be gone after a few months or more.

For those who are with someone who's been through testicular cancer, the statistics for having biological children are on your side. Most couples are still able to get pregnant but may experience some roadblocks along the way. For those who are suffering with primary or secondary infertility afterwards, it's often a good idea to see a specialist for further options.