When it comes to male fertility, the number one problem is a low sperm count. There are a number of different factors that can contribute to a low sperm count, of course. Some of them can be prevented, but others cannot.
The connection between testosterone and sperm count
Researchers know a few things about a man’s natural sperm count. For example, if a man has low levels of the sex hormone testosterone, he’s also more likely to have a low sperm count.
There are a number of things that can cause a man to have low testosterone. It can be something that occurs as the fetus is developing. It can happen later on during puberty, or even during adulthood. A low testosterone level during adulthood can lead to infertility, and it can even contribute or cause erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone naturally lowers with age; over the age of 60, testosterone is reduced by about 20%. Over 80, that jumps to between 30% and 40%.
Testosterone replacement therapy and sperm count
You might think, then, that providing a man with testosterone replacement therapy via injections would more than likely lead to a higher sperm count. In fact, some family practitioners will make this assumption.
What they may not realize is that testosterone replacement therapy can cause a man’s testicles to stop producing sperm on their own. After stopping testosterone therapy, a man might not produce any sperm at all. Usually this will come back, but not always.
Ways to help produce sperm
There are a number of ways to help a man with low sperm count. Lifestyle changes can help, depending on what the actual cause of the low sperm count might be. There are a number of medical therapies, including pituitary hormone injections, radiation therapy, and others that might be able to help a man produce sperm.
If you’re trying to conceive and you take testosterone shots, be aware that they could be interfering with your ability to conceive. Talk to your doctor about this, and have your sperm count tested. There may be treatments that can help you conceive.