- Fertility and Cancer: What Are My Options?
- What is infertility?
- Talking to your cancer care team about fertility before your treatment
- How does cancer treatment affect fertility in women?
- Preserving fertility in women before cancer treatment
- Fertility options for women after treatment
- How does cancer treatment affect fertility in men
- Preserving fertility in men before cancer treatment
- Fertility options for men after cancer treatment
- Preserving fertility in children with cancer
- Frequently asked questions
- Other issues
- To learn more
What is infertility?
Fertility is a person’s ability to start or maintain a pregnancy. Infertility is not being able to start or maintain a pregnancy. For a woman, it means that she either can’t become pregnant or that she can’t carry a baby full-term. For a man, it means that he cannot father a child. In medicine, infertility is defined for couples as being unable to conceive a child after one year of trying to get pregnant.
Men are infertile if:
- Their testicles don’t make sperm.
- The pathways that carry sperm are blocked or cut off.
Women are infertile if:
- Their ovaries don’t make mature eggs.
- Damage to the reproductive system keeps eggs from being fertilized.
- A fertilized egg cannot implant and grow inside the uterus.
Last Medical Review: 09/18/2012
Last Revised: 11/19/2012