Many men don’t know there’s a link between testosterone therapy and infertility
It’s common for men to use drugs and hormonal supplements that promise to provide bigger muscles, higher energy levels and increased libido. Many of these products contain testosterone or its derivatives, which most men don’t realize can cause fertility issues. At Fertility Specialists of Texas (FST), we strive to educate patients about the link between testosterone therapy and infertility. Our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors explain this connection in more detail below.
What is the link between testosterone therapy and infertility?
It might come as a shock, but taking testosterone almost serves as male contraception. This is known as the Mossman-Pacey paradox. It’s called a “paradox” because men who take testosterone gain muscle and look more fertile, but they are actually more likely to have fertility issues. The higher the dose of testosterone, the lower a man’s sperm count is likely to be.
When the brain senses testosterone in the blood, it sends signals to a man’s testes that tell them to make less of their own testosterone. As a result, when a man starts taking external testosterone, it disturbs his body’s natural cycle and causes his testes to stop making natural testosterone. This situation can result in testicular atrophy.
In some cases, when men try to stop taking testosterone, their testes remain shut down and don’t begin making natural testosterone. Without the supplements, testosterone levels plummet, leading to sexual dysfunction and further male infertility.
What options do men have?
Our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors recommend talking to your doctor before taking any supplements or medications that promise to improve your libido, energy or strength. In many cases, your doctor can recommend options that are fertility-friendly.
If you’re receiving testosterone therapy now or have recently stopped, there are ways to overcome infertility. You can start by making an appointment at FST. Your doctor will first order a semen analysis to gain more information about your sperm count. From there, he or she will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan. One of the most successful treatments for men with very low sperm counts is in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Contact us if you’d like to schedule an appointment to learn more about the link between testosterone therapy and infertility, including how to overcome male infertility.