Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lance Armstrong Conceives Naturally 10+ Years After Testicular Cancer – Against All Odds or Normal?

Fertile Hope has been inundated with questions since the reports by the media that Lance Armstrong conceived naturally more than 10 year after his treatment for testicular cancer, and after using his banked sperm with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive three children. The news is incredibly hopeful, but also confusing. Do cancer treatments affect fertility permanently? How long does it take for sperm production to come back? Should patients still bank sperm? We took these questions and more to our Medical Advisory Board and published the answers in our online newsletter. I’d love to know what you think. Healthcare professionals – will this change if/how you talk about sperm banking with cancer patients? Cancer patients and survivors – will you still bank? How long will you keep banked sperm? How often will you get your sperm counts checked? My list of questions is endless. Please, tell us what this means to you.


  1. I am extremely excited for Lance and his family. This is wonderful and he continues to be an inspiration to millions of survivors and those facing fertility issues. My best friend's husband was diagnosed in college with cancer and luckily was informed of the fertility risks and banked his sperm. When the two of them decided to start a family, their doctor said they could try naturally for 6-12 months before using other methods. After 9 months of various sperm counts and inconsistencies, they decided to utilize IVF. After two rounds, I am happy to report they gave birth to twins in 2008. While a natural conception might be possible years after his treatment, having the sperm prior to treatment provided them additional options and hope. I would encourage everyone to take those necessary steps to ensure that all options are available when the time comes for you to start a family.

  2. Please don't use the word "naturally" when discussing fertility issues. "Spontaneous" is the preferred medical term.

    For those of us who have used fertility technology (IVF, donor gametese, etc.) the word "natural" is very hurtful. If my kids aren't natural, what are they? Unnatural? Artificial?

  3. Anon- grow up. The blogger didn't say anything about your precious children.

    The fact that they were artificially conceived doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with them.

  4. I doubt that anyone who uses the word "natural" is trying to be hurtfful. The average person is not versed in preferred medical terms. Whether a child is conceived the natural way or through modern fertility technology still equals to a wonderful blessing.

  5. Fertile Hope lists 7 fertility options for men and 11 fertility options for women. However Lance's son Max was conceived without using any of the options listed by Fertile Hope.

    Some will call Max' birth a miracle while others will call it a fluke. However, people familiar with either NaProTechnology or the Creighton model understand that Lance isn't totally infertile (is producing at least some sperm) and they understand that he and Anna just happened to have intercourse when Anna was at the most fertile part of her cycle.

    NaProTechnology and the Creighton model won't solve everyone's fertility issues, but having a better understanding of human reproduction costs practically nothing and can help a huge number of people who don't want or can't afford some of the other options.

  6. I think I would have a paternity test. That is the same as having a vasectomy and your wife gets pregnant. People do have a tendency to sleep around these days. A famous Greek philosopher once said women love their children more because they are certain they are theirs.