Low t and fertility
Infertility is not just a woman’s issue. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, one-third of infertility cases are related to male factor infertility.
Infertility and Low T Levels
A common cause of male factor infertility is attributed to a low testosterone level or Low T. Testosterone is the male sex hormone made by the testes. It is responsible for several functions, including muscle growth, development of the male sexual organs, energy levels and libido.
The testosterone amount that a male produces is filtered through the pituitary gland. If the pituitary senses a low testosterone level, it will release the LH hormone, sending a signal directly to the testes to produce more testosterone. A low testosterone level is frequently associated with a dysfunction of the pituitary gland and/or the testes.
Low T Supplements Can Affect Sperm Count
When trying to conceive, men should not take testosterone supplements to increase or improve testosterone levels. Taking testosterone supplements can impede the production of sperm and actually signal the pituitary gland that enough testosterone is being made. This will, in turn, affect testicular function and sperm production.
It is important to discuss with your fertility specialist if you are currently taking or have taken testosterone supplements. Most of the time, after discontinuing testosterone supplements, the man’s sperm count will bounce back; although it can take up to six months to see an improvement in sperm production and sperm counts.
A semen analysis can be performed to evaluate sperm counts to determine the most optimal time to proceed with fertility treatments. Blood work can also be done to evaluate male hormones to determine if other oral medications may be needed to assist with sperm production. Occasionally, the sperm count does not rebound, and in these cases, the sperm production may need to be encouraged with hormone injections.
A Healthy Lifestyle To Improve Fertility
When the testosterone level is low and a couple is trying to conceive, what can be done to optimize fertility if testosterone supplementation is not an option? Living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing a man can do to help improve his fertility, including eating a healthy, balanced diet as well as getting an adequate amount of sleep. It is also important to avoid hot baths and whirlpool tubs as the elevated temperature can impede sperm production. As well, avoid tobacco and marijuana and two or more alcoholic beverages per day as these can also hinder the production of sperm.
Before taking testosterone supplementation, consider if you are planning to start a family now or in the future. Most doctors recommend avoiding testosterone supplementation until your family is complete.
Schedule a consultation with the fertility specialists at Dallas – Fort Worth Fertility Associates to learn more about male infertility risks and Low T.
- Causes of Infertility
- What is Infertility?
- Causes of Female Infertility
- Causes of Male Infertility