Sexuality and Fertility //
WHAT ABOUT SEXUALITY AND FERTILITY?
Many men worry that losing one testicle will affect their ability to have sexual intercourse or make them sterile. Truth: a man with one healthy testicle can still have a normal erection and produce sperm. Therefore, an operation to remove just one testicle does not make a patient impotent and seldom interferes with fertility.
The worry of these men is that after surgery to remove a testicle or even other forms of treatment their ability to have sex will be compromised, even becoming impotent or sterile. The fact is, men who have lost a testicle due to cancer or some other means still has a healthy testicle left and that means being able to have an erection and the ability to produce sperm. The removal of a testicle does mean an enforced down time and men should wait a few weeks for recuperation time to be effective.
Surgeries involving the lymph nodes normally does not affect sexual function like orgasms or erection, however it can have some repercussions on ejaculation and fertility
For some men, the action still feels the same, only there is no ejaculate. For other men though, they notice a difference in their sex life.
With radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer, most men do not see any changes whatsoever in their sexual ability. Radiation therapy does affect sperm count. Men who still wish to father children may find their sperm counts plummeting. Most patients do recover from this sperm count drop with no ill effects but others do have problems. For this reason, some doctors may advise men to bank their sperm just in case.
The side effects of chemo can hinder the desire to have sex. The drug cocktails in chemotherapy do hamper sperm count and production. There is a greater chance that men could become sterile with this treatment plan. Sperm banking is suggested for both treatment options, and strongly advised if men have a to father children.
Doctors do advise men to use condoms during sex, even when with a monogamous partner. The reason for this is because the chemotherapy drugs can pass through the ejaculate to a sexual partner. Not much is known on how much the partner is affected by these drugs so it is best to avoid the possibility all together with condoms.
The bottom line is, each man who has testicular cancer and has been treated or is going through treatment will act differently in his sex life. One man may have no ill effects and have a good sex drive while another may need to have some type of hormonal therapy in order to reestablish that desire for sex. The key is to communicate effectively with the doctor, as they are the best resource for suggesting various methods to maintain a healthy sex life after testicular cancer treatment. A patient and understanding partner is also a great help through the process.