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Managing the Side Effects of Testicular Cancer and Its Treatment

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Managing the Side Effects of Testicular Cancer and Its Treatment

Testicular cancer and its care can affect sex and fertility. Some problems are:

  • Sperm cells or hormones cannot be made if both testicles are taken out. The person will not be able to father children. It will also cause problems in how the body works. Keep in mind that 1 healthy testicle can make enough sperm and hormones.
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage.

It is important to talk to the doctor about problems or concerns. Counseling can also help.

Sexual Function

Nerves, blood vessels, and hormone signals all plays a role in sex. Testicular cancer or its care may cause:

  • Erectile dysfunction—Problems with or inability to get or keep an erection
  • Retrograde ejaculation—Semen is sent to the bladder instead of out of the body during ejaculation. This can be caused by nerve or muscle damage
  • Pain during sex—There may be some irritation in the prostate gland or urethra
  • Lower sex drive—May be caused by change in hormones

There are many ways to treat these problems. Medicines and hormone replacement may help. In severe cases, surgery and certain devices may be needed.


Managing male sexual problems related to cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/fertility-and-sexual-side-effects/sexuality-for-men-with-cancer/sex-problems.html.

Parekh NV, Lundy SD, Vij SC. Fertility considerations in men with testicular cancer. Transl Androl Urol. 2020;9(Suppl 1):S14-S23.

Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/testicular/patient/testicular-treatment-pdq#section/_50.


  • Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.