A group of doctors, researchers, and patient advocates published a review of scientific research. They said that BMT sometimes causes problems with hormones and sperm. Also, BMT may cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and secondary cancers that impact the penis, testes, and scrotum.
BMT can cure leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease and more. However, allogeneic BMT, using cells donated by another person, may cause side effects throughout the body. The medicines and radiation therapy given before BMT can cause some of these effects.
New guidelines say doctors should help with your sexual health both before and after BMT.
Before you prepare for BMT, if you are concerned about your fertility, ask your doctor about saving your sperm in a sperm bank. After BMT, get yearly check-ups, including a check of the penis, testes, and scrotum. You doctor should:
- Check for possible changes in genital skin, body hair, and the size of your testes
- Do a DEXA scan to check bone strength
- Refer you to a specialist if needed for pain during sex, decreased desire, erectile dysfunction, or other problems
Not everyone has these problems. Ask your doctor about treatments to speed your recovery.
Helpful specialists may include:
- Transplant doctor
- Sexual health specialist
Treatments may include:
- Steroid medicines to soothe GVHD
- Testosterone replacement
- Medicines for erectile dysfunction
- Medicines, vitamin D, calcium for bone strength
- Counseling to improve sexual function