Starting a family after cancer: Male infertility treatment in Dallas, TX
Each year, hundreds of men in the Dallas, TX area are diagnosed with cancer. For many, cancer treatment (more often than the disease itself) impacts their ability to become fathers. Because regaining a normal life is essential to the overall healing process, physical and emotional, Dr. Jeffrey Buch encourages men to carefully consider their male infertility treatment options.
Understanding male infertility
When a man is unable to produce healthy sperm or to ejaculate semen, he cannot fertilize the egg of a female. This is the comprehensive definition of male infertility, but factors that cause those reactions vary, especially when a man has undergone cancer treatment.
Radiation therapy is the dispersion of intense energy to kill cancer cells. Although a man’s testicles are typically protected with a lead shield during radiation treatments near the groin, energy scatters, causing some irradiation throughout the body. Depending on the aggressiveness and location of treatment, it may permanently halt production of sperm, or cause a drop in sperm count that recovers naturally over the course of a few years. Even radiation therapy for brain cancers may have an effect on fertility. It can damage parts of the brain that control hormone production.
Chemotherapy drugs in the alkylating group such as cyclophosphamide (brand name Cytoxan), chlorambucil (Leukeran), busulfan (Myleran), procarbazine (Natulan and Matulane), nitrosoureas (Carmustine or Lomustine), nitrogen mustard (Mustargen), and L-phenylalanine mustard (Alkeran) are the biggest culprits in cancer-related male fertility.
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Surgical treatment for bladder or prostate cancer involves removal of seminal vesicles and the prostate – glands necessary for creation of the liquid elements of semen. Scarring from these procedures may also block the path of sperm cells. Surgeries for colon or testicular cancer can result in nerve damage that prevents wet orgasm (the man feels a sensation of pleasure but does not ejaculate semen).
If you are diagnosed with cancer, taking care of yourself is top priority. However, as the experience fades into your past, infertility may leave you with stress, loss of self-esteem, or relationship issues. This is the time to schedule a visit with Dr. Buch to discuss treatment options for male infertility.
It might not be cancer-related
There can be many causes of male infertility, unrelated to having had cancer or cancer treatment. During a male health examination, Dr. Buch screens for evidence of:
- Infections in the reproductive tract
- Undescended testis
- Varicose veins in the scrotum
- Blocked sperm duct
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Immune system malfunction
Post-cancer male infertility treatment in Dallas, TX
It helps the doctor to understand the cause of your infertility, and it may give you some peace of mind. However, a definite determination is not essential to pursuing infertility treatment.
Dr. Buch first conducts a semen analysis to gain a clear comprehension of your level of infertility. He evaluates:
- Volume of ejaculation.
- Sperm density – The number of sperm per milliliter of semen.
- Motility – Percentage of sperm that are strong swimmers.
- Morphology – Percentage of sperm with ideal shape.
If the doctor identifies medical conditions contributing to infertility, appropriate treatment is recommended. You may receive counseling on lifestyle habits that are factors producing healthy sperm. Low-T treatment with biologics that stimulate testicular production, or medications for erectile dysfunction may be appropriate.
The next step, should you and your partner choose to pursue intra uterine insemination (also called artificial insemination), is sperm washing. This highly-specialized technique achieves the best concentration of the healthiest, most active sperm for insemination of the female partner.
Legacy Male Health also offer sperm banking services. If you have received a cancer diagnosis, are planning to have a vasectomy, or simply want to safeguard your ability to father children in the future, this is a good choice. A semen sample is collected discreetly and cryogenically preserved for a decade or longer.
A diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing moment, but it doesn’t have to mean that you will not father children. Fertility status can change as your health improves. In addition, Dr. Buch and his team at Legacy Male Health in Frisco, TX are here to help, with the highest level of accuracy in semen analysis, the reassurance of sperm banking, effective male infertility treatment techniques . . . and most importantly, compassionate guidance. You don’t have to deal with this uncertainty alone. Call (972) 996-7177 to schedule a consultation today..