How Does Low Testosterone Affect Sperm Count?
It can be concerning when the production of testosterone begins to wane or stop altogether. Understanding the changes and why they occur may help with overcoming fear to seek treatment.
Low testosterone (hypogonadism) is a condition that more than five million American men are reported to have. Testosterone, considered the “male hormone,” is required for good overall health in adult men.
Low testosterone levels (low-T) can cause several different health issues. Aside from a lack of interest in sexual activity (both psychologically and physically), other symptoms include a lack of energy, overall fatigue, moodiness, hair loss, loss of muscle mass, an increase in body fat and, in some cases, depression.
This is a condition that can have several different causes and can be mistaken for other ailments such as diabetes.
What Causes It?
Testosterone levels naturally decrease as a man ages due to a process known as andropause. But other outside events can cause a permanent decrease well before this natural reduction was supposed to occur.
Some non-age-related cause include: injuries to the testicles, various diseases (especially those that affect the glandular system), testicular cancer, cancer treatments in general, certain types of medications such as opiates, and bad genetics.
Once low testosterone has been determined by a medical professional, various types of treatments exist. In some cases treatment can stimulate the body to increase its own natural testosterone production, while in more severe cases hormone replacement therapy may be required to normalize hormone levels.
How Does Low-T Effect Fertility?
One side effect of lowered testosterone that concerns many families is a decrease in male fertility. Testosterone reduction results in a lower sex drive, lower energy levels, weak erections, lack of interest in sex and a lowered sperm count. While a reduced sperm count certainly has a negative impact on a man’s ability to have children, a general lack of interest in sex and the physical inability to do so also greatly damages overall fertility.
Restoration of testosterone levels restores the interest in, and the ability to participate in, sexual activity. Also, with proper treatment methods the body’s natural production of testosterone can be increased.
There are many different medical solutions to low testosterone. These include patches, creams, injections, inserted release pellets, and, recently, oral testosterone treatments have also been developed. While some of these can easily be self-applied, others such as injections require a professional health provider to administer them.
When considering low-T treatment, it is important to remember that prolonged treatment can worsen overall sperm production. Introducing testosterone from outside the body reduces the amount of sperm the body naturally produces.
As noted above, however, there are treatment methods that, instead of replacing testosterone, outright encourage the body to increase natural testosterone production. There are also preventive methods, such as freezing one’s sperm before treatment is undertaken, to ensure future fertility options.
Turtle Creek Medical Center can help men with low-t through a variety of treatment methods. No matter the needed solution their doctors will work with patients every step of the way concerning recovery and fertility needs.