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This Forum has been the centre of an exceptional exchange of knowledge diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and other effects of cancer during pregnancy and lactation. All are welcome to review the Questions and Answers posted here, provided that they acknowledge and accept the important proviso and disclaimer below.
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Forum > Chemotherapy: Paternal
Male use of hydroxyurea and conception

Date: 2007-01-19

Hi, Please can you advise us on weather it is safe for a male to be taking hydroxyurea and wanting to conceive. Also if the male is going to freeze his sperm and he has been taking hydoxyurea, is it still safe . Many thanks preeti


There isn?t much information on male use of hydroxyurea while wanting to conceive, nor is there much data on the transfer of medication to the sperm. There are no human studies of male use of hydroxyurea but animal studies have shown that hydroxyurea may cause testicular atrophy (Reprod Toxicol 9:21-33, 1995.), or it may change the shape and structure of the sperm (Cell Prolif 26:147-59, 1993.).

The impact of chemotherapy on male fertility depends on the treatment protocol as well as the pre-treatment rate of sperm formation in the male (JDDG 5:15?21, 2007). Sperm concentration starts to drop about 2 weeks after beginning chemotherapy and reaches a maximum after 2?3 months (Reprod Toxicol 2001; 15: 333?338.). About 50% of men show recovery of sperm concentrations after 12?36 months. One year after therapy is completed, a treated patient has no increased risk of fathering a malformed child (JDDG 5:15?21, 2007). The cryopreservation of sperm causes a loss of vital sperm by 30?70 %, but does not influence the genetic information of gametes (JDDG 5:15?21, 2007).

Presently there is no chemotherapeutic agent shown to cause malformations in humans after sperm exposure. It seems to be an "all or none' phenomenon, namely sperm count may be too low to father a child, or it is normal.

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