Testosterone and Fertility

Testosterone can cause a number of changes that impact fertility. These can range from sexual desire to a decreased sperm count.

Many of these issues can be corrected. Some of these include a healthy diet, avoiding excessive alcohol and smoking, and dietary supplements such as ashwagandha or fenugreek.

Other issues that can impact fertility include chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, HIV, and sex-related surgeries such as hernias or vasectomies. These can be cured or reversed with the help of a doctor.

How Long After Stopping Testosterone Does Sperm Count Increase?

Testosterone plays a crucial role in the sperm count and fertility of men. Low testosterone levels, a common problem among men, can cause a decline in sperm count. The good news is that sperm counts can improve with certain natural treatments and lifestyle changes. Here are some ways to boost sperm count, including nutritional supplements and exercise.

Many men who take testosterone use it for a variety of reasons, including building muscle mass and helping to increase fertility. While testosterone is a necessary hormone for many men, when used incorrectly or for prolonged periods of time it can decrease sperm count significantly. This is because synthetic testosterone suppresses a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone, which is responsible for orchestrating sperm production in the testes.

As a result, men who are taking synthetic testosterone will likely experience infertility until their internal and external hormones return to normal. Depending on the length of time a man has been using TRT, it may take six weeks, six months or a couple years to fully recover from its infertility effects and experience normal sperm count.

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A recent study found that both age and duration of TRT influenced sperm recovery. The number of azoospermic and cryptozoospermic men who achieved a TMC of more than five million sperm at both 6 and 12 months post-hCG/SERM treatment were directly correlated with age and duration of TRT.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Testosterone is a hormone that helps maintain male bone density and fat distribution, boosts muscle growth and energy, increases red blood cell production, aids in libido and promotes male fertility. Testosterone Replacement Therapy, or TRT, is a common treatment for men who have low testosterone. However, it is important to note that TRT decreases sperm count and may prevent men from having children.

While TRT does increase natural testosterone levels, it also suppresses the brain’s ability to manage the level of other hormones that stimulate the testicles to produce sperm. This is why many men who take TRT experience a decreased sperm count. The most recent study of 66 men found that 30 percent of the men experienced azoospermia after stopping TRT. This is a significant number of people who cannot father children.

The good news is that most men who stop TRT can expect their sperm counts to return to normal within 6-9 months of ceasing the treatment. However, for those who want to become fathers, it is recommended that they speak with their medical providers about a more effective treatment.

The medical provider can run tests to check current sperm levels and discover the root cause of the problem. They can also recommend clomiphene citrate and aromatase inhibitors, two drugs that help balance the hormones needed for sperm production. In addition, the medical provider can suggest a regimen that includes hCG injections to support sperm production. In addition, couples who are interested in starting a family can consider storing sperm at a sperm bank.

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Medications can have an impact on fertility. A common medicine for high blood pressure, spironolactone, has been found to reduce sperm count and sperm motility in men. This is most likely due to the drug interfering with the production of a protein that is needed to make testosterone.

Many drugs that are prescribed or used over-the-counter can also affect fertility. These include anti-epilepsy medicines, like carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine and valproate; anti-retroviral medications, which are used to prevent HIV from replicating; and some types of antibiotics. Some gastrointestinal medications, such as sulfasalazine (used to treat ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis), can also lower sperm counts.

Other drugs that can affect fertility include anabolic steroids, which are often used by body builders to build muscle mass; they can suppress sperm production. Anabolic steroids can also affect the production of testosterone, which may interfere with sperm count and motility.

Stress can also cause a reduction in sperm count and quality. Men should avoid spending time in hot tubs, saunas and long, hot showers, which can overheat the testicles and affect sperm function. They should wear loose clothing, instead of tight jeans or bicycle shorts, to keep the scrotum cool and sperm cells functioning properly. They should also stop using electronic devices that emit radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, as these have been shown to increase scrotal temperature and negatively impact sperm function.

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills (BCPs) and other hormonal methods of contraception don’t directly impact sperm. However, they do change the lining of the uterus and cervix and make it harder for sperm to get to an egg, making pregnancy less likely. When women stop taking BCPs, their fertility returns to where it was before they started the pill.

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Hormonal contraceptives also cause a few side effects, including mood changes and an increased risk of certain cancers and other health problems. If you’re thinking about trying for a baby, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any hormone medications or other hormonal treatments.

Nonhormonal birth control methods don’t rely on hormones and can be used for longer periods of time. One such option, being developed by Weill Cornell Medicine scientists Jochen Buck and Lonny Levin, targets a specific enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase. By inhibiting sAC, the drug candidate prevents cAMP production and stops sperm from swimming. Buck and Levin envision the compound could be taken on demand, much like erectile dysfunction drugs.

While it may take years for these new sperm-blocking contraceptives to reach the market, they’re inching closer to clinical trials. If these prove safe and effective, they could offer a convenient alternative to condoms or vasectomies that won’t interfere with fertility. However, they’ll still be important to use alongside barrier methods to protect against STIs and other sexually transmitted infections.

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