Estimates show that anywhere from 4-5 million American men live with low testosterone. This sex hormone plays a crucial role in the body, including:
All men experience decreasing levels of this important hormone every year after turning 30. However, the diminishing levels can be far more significant and unrelated to the aging process for some men.
Our team at Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina works with men of all ages who are living with low testosterone. They share these insights into how this condition can impact your fertility.
The role low testosterone plays in infertility is actually more complex than you might imagine. That’s because it can cause problems in four ways.
It’s common for men with low testosterone to experience problems with their sex drive and sexual function. Having decreased sexual desire or difficulties achieving or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction) can impact the ability to conceive.
Testosterone also plays a role in sperm production. However, other hormones trigger this process, and the testes often have a higher level of testosterone than your blood. That means having low testosterone could impact your sperm, but many men with low levels still have enough for sperm production.
Approximately 40% of men aged 45 and older have low testosterone. However, this can develop for a variety of reasons, ranging from traumatic injury or certain medications to underlying conditions like metabolic disorders, inflammatory diseases, or pituitary problems.
Sometimes, the underlying cause of your low testosterone can also play a role in your fertility.
Here’s where things get tricky: A side effect of testosterone treatment is often infertility. That’s because this therapy can decrease sperm production by reducing levels of another hormone that plays an important job in sperm production.
This issue is often reversible. However, if you’re currently trying to get pregnant or want children in the future, work with your provider to make sure your treatment doesn’t interfere with testosterone production in your body.
Now for the good news. We can still help manage your low testosterone symptoms while preserving your fertility.
First, don’t wait to make healthy lifestyle choices that are also good for your fertility, such as:
It’s also important to keep your genitals cool, because excessive periods of heat can lower your sperm count. To avoid this problem, we recommend skipping the sauna, hot tub, and baths. Also, don’t spend time with your laptop on your lap.
In addition to these strategies, we can determine the cause of your low testosterone symptoms and outline a treatment strategy to help get them back on track.
Do you have low testosterone? Contact one of our locations in Wilmington or Southport, North Carolina, to learn about your options today.