Birth Defects From Paternal Exposure To Chemotherapy  

Paternal exposure to chemotherapy means when the father of the baby is exposed to chemotherapy before conception of the baby or during the pregnancy of the partner. The question is whether paternal exposure to chemotherapy can cause any pregnancy related problems?

Paternal exposure to chemotherapy can affect a man's ability to father a child. Basically the sperm gets affected wherein there may be decrease in production, size, shape or performance. Changes to the sperm can have multi-fold effect. There can be even genetic changes to the sperm which can cause birth defects in the embryo and increase the risk of the child developing childhood cancer.

On the other hand, latest studies are showing that agents that cause birth defects cannot reach a fetus through the father. But a father who is exposed to chemotherapy can end up fathering children with more or less than normal number of chromosomes. Researchers and scientists believe that the studies are inconclusive. Therefore, at this stage there is no concrete evidence to show that birth defects from paternal exposure to chemotherapy exist.

Scientists are debating on the agents that cause birth defects. They reason that most of these agents enter the fetus through the mother and not the father. Of course, there are small amounts of substances that a father has been exposed to present in the semen but this amount is too insignificant to cause birth defects. However, to be on the safe side and to avoid any birth defects from paternal exposure to chemotherapy, it is advisable to consider sperm banking. In addition, men should wait for at least three months after the chemotherapy before trying to father a child.

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Birth Defects From Paternal Exposure To Chemotherapy




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