The Hormones In Male Fertility
As much as female hormones are vital for fertility, male hormones are equally important. Hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone are imperative for procreation. FSH stimulates sperm production. LH is responsible for the production of testosterone.
The importance of testosterone
Testosterone is a significant hormone for men and performs many vital roles. Testosterone is essential in the development of male sex organs, bone development, hair growth, and sperm production. Testosterone stimulates sperm production along with other hormones. However, a low testosterone level does not necessarily mean infertility. Men who have low testosterone levels can still produce enough sperm.
LH makes testosterone
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is responsible for releasing LH. Once released, the LH causes the cells of the testes to produce testosterone. A low LH level means low sex drive and fertility issues, while a high LH means testicle damage. If one experiences low libido or has trouble conceiving after 12 months of trying, consult a fertility specialist immediately. The doctor will request a blood test to check and monitor the LH levels.
Sperm produced by FSH
FSH has a very significant role for both women and men. FSH is responsible for testicular growth and the production and maturation of sperm cells. Similar to LH, a low FSH level means low libido or inability to conceive while a high FSH means damaged testicles. Testicles could be damaged for reasons like infection, chemotherapy, or excessive use of alcohol. In any scenario, speaking to the doctor and getting an FSH test is usually recommended.
Other signs of infertility
The number one sign of infertility is the inability to conceive after trying for one year. However, there are other potential signs to look out for. These signs include pain or swelling of the testicle area, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty with ejaculation. Other signs are difficulty in smelling, reduced facial hair, and abnormal breast growth. Take necessary action whenever any of these signs show up.
Fixing abnormal levels
When testosterone, FSH, or LH levels are abnormal, making changes to lifestyle and medications may help. Modifying lifestyle factors such as lowering stress, avoiding alcohol and smoking, increasing physical activity, and eating a healthy diet may help. Otherwise, the doctor may recommend hormonal treatments, which come with advantages and risks. In the most extreme cases, the healthcare provider may advise fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). The treatment varies for each person based on the results of the tests and medical history.
Not just a blood level test
A man with a fertility issue may be asked to do more than just a blood test. These tests include semen analysis, ultrasound, testicular biopsy, and genetic test. Depending on the case, the doctor may recommend other tests to find out the root of the issue. No matter the challenge, see a fertility specialist for targeted care.