Fertility can be defined as normal sexual activity, ability to conceive and give birth to a child. But cancer and cancer treatment can negatively affect both male and female fertility. Usually, oncologists are more concerned about cancer treatment. But the patient should ask about the adverse effect of cancer treatment which may include infertility also.
Cancer or cancer treatment interferes with ovulation by malfunctioning of the female body system affects her conceiving ability. Following are the different inter-relations between cancer and female infertility:
- Cancer and its treatment can cause early ovarian failure and does not produce eggs.
- The position of tumor growth can press the ovaries or uterus leads to dysfunction or restrict the growth of fertilized eggs and causes miscarriage.
- Cancer and cancer treatment causes reproductive hormonal imbalance.
As we discussed earlier that cancer also interferes with male infertility, following are a different aspect of male infertility associated with cancer:
- The tumor growth presses the male reproductive organ and leads to organ dysfunction.
- Male reproductive hormonal imbalance due to cancer development interacts with specific endocrinal gland secretion.
- The testicle may not produce sufficient sperm or produce sperm that are low quality because of cancer development.
- Disturbed sperm ejaculation process due to onset of cancer
Not only cancer, but cancer treatment also interferes with the reproductive system functioning. Different treatment processes affect differently. However, certain individual factors also the responsible intensity of risk factors.
- The patient’s age and the stage of cancer. For example, before or after puberty and before or after menopause.
- Type of surgical intervention and how invasive the surgical process.
- The type of treatment recommended like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, stem cell therapy, or targeted therapy.
- The dose of treatment.