Testosterone is a male hormone that is required to ensure that a man has good overall health. low-testosterone which is also referred to as hypogonadism is a condition that affects more than 5 million American men. When low-testosterone occurs, it causes some health issues in a man’s body. Apart from the obvious causes, like lack of sexual interest both physically and psychologically, low-testosterone quantities can also cause overall fatigue, lack of energy, loss of muscle mass, hair loss and an increase of fat in the body; and in some cases, it causes depression.
What causes low testosterone?
As a man ages, the levels of testosterone decreases naturally because of a process is well known as andropause. Additionally, there are other external factors that can cause the quantities of testosterone to remain permanently low before the natural decrease happens.
Some of the other causes of low-testosterone are testicular cancer, injuries incurred to the testicles, diseases that affect the glandular system, cancer treatments, medications like opiates, and also genetics.
Once a medical professional determines that you have low-testosterone, several types of treatments are present. In some cases, the treatment can stimulate the body to produce more natural testosterone, while in extreme cases, hormone replacement therapy is used as a way to normalize the hormones in the body.
How low testosterone quantities affect fertility
One of the major side effects of low-testosterone that most families are concerned about is the decrease in fertility in men. Low-testosterone production lowers sex drive, it weakens an erection, it lowers energy quantities, it poses a lack of interest and a low sperm count. Although men are negatively impacted by their ability to get children with low sperm count, the general disinterest in sex also damages the overall fertility of men.
Low-testosterone indirectly affects infertility. Men who have low levels of testosterone can produce healthy sperms since the production of sperms is dependent on other hormones. But it is important to note that low quantities of testosterone can lead to decreased sperm count. When testosterone is high in the blood, there is a high production of sperms in the testicles.
When the quantities of testosterone are restored, the interest in sexual activity is resumed and if the treatment is right, natural testosterone production is increased.
How low sperm count happens
In men, a part of the brain that is called the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland helps to control fertility. A hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) sends a signal to the pituitary gland to produce the fertility hormones which are LH – Luteinizing Hormones, and FSH – Follicle Stimulating Hormone. The creation of sperms is triggered by the FSH, while the LH communicates to the testicles to ensure that there is testosterone production which is needed to produce sperms.
When testosterone therapy is initiated, the brain gets the message that it has done its job and it slows down GnRH production. Since it is not getting the message, the pituitary gland does not produce normal hormone quantities like LH and FSH. This results in low sperm production.
Men who experience low-testosterone and they suffer from infertility should see an endocrinologist and a urologist who specialize in male reproduction. Once a diagnosis is done, your doctor will determine the best treatment to ensure that you become reproductive once again.
Steps for boosting fertility
If you have low quantities of testosterone, you can boost your fertility by changing your lifestyle in the following ways:
- Lose weight – being overweight can change your hormonal quantities and affect your production sperm. Obese men may have low-testosterone quantities since their belly fat usually converts testosterone to estrogen. When these pounds are shed, it may have a positive impact on a man’s fertility. Although losing weight might not increase the sperm count, it will help in boosting a man’s confidence.
- Avoid using drugs and limit alcohol usage – drugs like narcotics and steroids can affect the production of sperms. Recreational drugs like marijuana have been linked with low quantities of testosterone. According to the NIAAA (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism), alcohol is linked to impairment of LH and FSH secretion.
- Exercise regularly – a good exercise program not only helps you to reduce stress and lose weight, but it also helps in building testosterone. If you undertake a regular aerobic exercise and work out using weights, then you can boost the secretion of testosterone.
There are various methods used to solve low-testosterone issues which include injections, creams, patches, inserted pallets, and even oral medications. Although injections require professional help, there are others that can be self-applied.
While looking at treatment options, know that prolonged treatments can cause further low sperm count.