Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
Analytical reseach of available data from the US and Europe show that there has been a widespread decline of testosterone levels among men since the 1970's until the early 2000's.
In this article, we shall cover the fowlling key points:
- What is low testosterone?
- Can it be treated?
- Does it affect fertility?
- Things to avoid
- What you should do
Testosterone is a key male sex hormone, produced in the testicles, and necessary for sperm production.
Testosterone is key in the growth and development of the muscles, bones, penis, and testicles, and directly impacts virility and sexual function in men.
Low levels of testosterone occur when male testosterone levels drop below the level regarded as normal. This can impact things like fertility by decreasing sperm production, reducing sex drive, etc.
Understanding whether or not you have low testosterone is vital when you are considering having children, as you need to know if and how your fertility is being impacted.
Low testosterone is something that can have a massive impact on your ability to conceive and have children, and this is why it's important to know what you are dealing with ahead of time.
Trying to conceive comes with enough stress and worry as it is, so trying to make sure you increase and enhance your chances of conceiving is going to make this a much less stressful process.
So let’s take a look at some of the things that you need to know about low testosterone, and its impact on fertility.
What is Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone is a medical condition known as hypogonadism or andropause, and this is something that will impact many men.
Here's what both terms mean:
- Hypogonadism - abnormally low levels of testosterone at any age
- Andropause - the natural decline of testosterone associated with advancing age
A low testosterone level is something that indicates a level below the normal range, which is something that can vary widely.
Testosterone checks can be carried out in the morning, and anything that looks irregular is something that will need to be analyzed further.
Low testosterone levels in men can lead to a range of problems and difficulties, and this includes things like decreased hair growth, as well as reducing normal reproductive development.
In older men, this is part of the aging process, however, in younger men, lower testosterone levels could be cause for concern, and this is something that should be investigated and treated where possible.
Can it Be Treated?
So, can low testosterone be treated, and if so, how?
The simple answer here is yes, and the steps you choose to take to treat this will depend on the levels of testosterone, and how much of an impact you feel you want to make.
There are so many excellent ways of being able to improve and treat your low testosterone levels, and one of the main ones is to look at things like a change of lifestyle.
Healthy living and improving your nutrition can make a big difference to this process, and there is plenty to consider when you are trying to achieve this.
Another thing you might like to consider is making sure you undergo testosterone replacement therapy as a way of combating this issue, however, this also comes with its own risks.
Considering the best ways of being able to treat low testosterone levels is really important, and they play a major role in helping you to improve your life and help you to improve your fertility as much as possible.
Does it Affect Fertility?
One of the things that a lot of people want to know is whether low testosterone affects fertility.
There isn't a straight answer to this.
Another study that featured in a 2018 publication of the Human Reproduction journal noted that there was a relationship between free testosterone levels and spermatogenic failure.
It is clear that low testosterone has an impact on fertility, but it's not present in all cases on male infertility, in fact those two studies show that it isn't even affecting half of infertile men from either cohort.
However, low testosterone levels can lead to things like reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and semen quality, but it should be noted that low testosterone does not always directly cause, contribute to infertility or sperm issues. There can be other causes of a low sperm count.
Men with low testosterone levels can still produce healthy sperm, but the level or quality of semen may be reduced.
Things to Avoid
Now, a lot of people who are considering trying to get treatment for low testosterone need to be careful.
Taking testosterone replacement therapy is not advisable when you are looking to try to conceive.
This is due to the fact that TRT can see your sperm count drop to zero, which is not unexpected, but certainly something to keep an eye on.
TRT can actually block the body’s ability to be able to produce its own levels of testosterone naturally.
But despite this, the number of men taking TRT has increased significantly in the past few years.
Avoiding taking supplements is very important if you are serious about trying to conceive and help you get pregnant as much as possible.
What You Should Do
If you are trying to conceive there are natural ways of boosting testosterone that you can implement.
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways of being able to help you improve the chances of conceiving, so this is something that would represent a vital lifestyle change that will help to combat low testosterone.
Another great way of boosting testosterone levels in a bid to help you when trying to conceive is by doing more exercise.
Obesity is another factor that is associated with lower levels of testosterone and reduced fertility.
In the US, as many as 40% of obese men have lower testosterone levels than men of a regular weight, so by losing weight you can make a big difference to this.
Furtheremore, stress is also linked to a reduction of testosterone and sperm quality.
Fro the available evidence it is clear that low testosterone can have a negative impact on some men looking to conceive with their partner.
However, low testosterone does not necessarily mean that you will be infertile, it can be one of the many contributing factors.
That said, low testosterone isn't healthy and can be associatd with other health risks such as brittle bones, obesity and cardiovascualr diseases.
Therefore it is wise to ensure that you always do the best you can to optimize T levels.
Getting treatment, making lifestyle changes, and ensuring that you focus on trying to improve and boost testosterone levels is a great way of helping increase your chances of conceiving.