Male fertility is a complex issue. There are so many factors that can influence your reproductive health, and we still can’t predict exactly how each of these factors will affect an individual’s fertility. However, study after study has shown that low testosterone levels are heavily linked to male infertility. If you’re experiencing infertility and can’t seem to find an answer, it’s definitely worth seeing a doctor and having your testosterone levels checked.
Symptoms of low levels of testosterone will usually come on so gradually that you may not even notice a dramatic change. Common symptoms include low libido, irritability, depression, difficulty concentrating, chronic fatigue, and erectile dysfunction. It’s important to note that while low levels of testosterone have been linked to infertility, exceedingly high levels of testosterone have also been shown to negatively impact male fertility, so participating in testosterone replacement therapy may not be the answer you’re looking for.
You’re probably wondering: how exactly does low testosterone affect my fertility? The answer to that question actually starts in the brain. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that coordinates both the autonomic nervous system and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus produces a chemical called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH then sends a message to the pituitary gland to signal that it should generate two different kinds of fertility hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH will then trigger the production of sperm cells while LH sends a message to the testes that they should start producing testosterone, which is also necessary for sperm production. When you don’t have enough testosterone being produced, that means that your sperm count will be lower, and it will be more difficult to conceive.
Testosterone replacement therapy is a common treatment for low testosterone, but if fertility is your primary concern instead of low libido, you’re going to want to choose another treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy can trick your brain into thinking it doesn’t have to produce any more GnRH, which then slows the production of FSH and LH. Without these hormones, your sperm count decreases. If you’re struggling with fertility issues, seek out a urologist or endocrinologist who specializes in male fertility and talk to them about your options. Whatever treatment you decide to go with, it’s important that it’s tailored to your specific goals.
Steps to help boost fertility
If you want to avoid taking medication to raise your testosterone levels, you can try enacting lifestyle changes instead. Regular use of tobacco products, alcohol, and narcotics have all been linked to fertility issues and low testosterone, so kicking those habits is the first step towards regulating your hormone levels. Maintaining a healthy weight has also been shown to help regulate hormones, as has to make sure you regularly exercise that includes a mix of weight training and aerobic exercise. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to lower testosterone levels. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, fortified cereals, mushrooms, and sunlight – but remember to limit your sun exposure so that you don’t increase your risk of skin cancer.
Issues with male fertility can be frustrating and disheartening, but it’s important to know that there are highly trained, experienced, caring health professionals out there to help you navigate your issues with fertility. It’s always better to know what’s going on in your body rather than ignore it out of fear, so if you think you may have low testosterone levels, don’t wait any longer to get your hormones checked. If you’re looking for infertility clinics in Phoenix, AZ, IVF Phoenix has a team of experts that are always ready to help you through any fertility issues you and your partner may be facing. IVF Phoenix is one of the most highly regarded infertility clinics in Phoenix, AZ, and for a good reason. They will walk you through all of your options and help you choose the path that’s right for you.