Sexual and Fertility Changes in Men

Questions to ask your TCI care team:

  1. What problems should I call you about?
  2. What can help with sexual problems?
  3. Can I discuss this with my Care Navigator, or can you give me the name of a counselor I can talk to?
  4. What method of birth control would you suggest that my partner use?
  5. Can you give me the name of a fertility specialist I can talk with to learn more?

Ask what changes you may have.

Talk with your TCI care team before your treatment starts to learn what sexual changes or changes to your fertility you may experience.

The changes you have may depend on the kind of chemotherapy you’ll be getting and the type of cancer you have. Your age and other health issues are also important.

What sexual problems might I experience?

  • It may be difficult to get or keep an erection. This is called “impotence.”
  • You may not be able to have an orgasm.
  • You may feel too tired or stressed to have sex.

    Talk with your TCI care team to learn how you can manage these changes. Ask how they can be treated and how long these problems may last.

How can I get help to cope?

Talk about your feelings and concerns with your partner. Find new ways to show love and be close. It may also help to talk with a physician, nurse, social worker, counselor, or people in a support group.

Is it okay to have sex?

Ask your TCI care team if it is okay for you to have sex during treatment. Most men can have sex, but you will want to talk with your physician first.

Do I need to use a condom?

Yes, you need to use a condom each time you have sex. Use a condom even if your partner is on birth control or cannot have children. This is because some chemotherapy may be in your semen.

Will I be able to have children?

If you would like to have children after treatment, talk with your physician before you start treatment. Your TCI care team can talk with you about your choices and refer you to a fertility specialist. 

Always use a condom when you have sex because some chemotherapy may be in your semen.

Chemotherapy can damage sperm and cause birth defects. To make sure your partner does not get pregnant, use a condom. You partner may also need to use birth control.

Talk with your TCI care team to learn about special instructions to follow. 

“I talked with my doctor before treatment. I told him I would like to have children one day. I’m glad I learned about my choices before my treatment started.”