How Testosterone Harms Male Fertility
Although less frequently discussed, male fertility is just as important as female fertility. To conceive a child, the male partner must have an adequate sperm count and healthy sperm. However, there are instances where men experience a decrease in sperm count or quality, leading to difficulties in achieving pregnancy. Various factors, including age, lifestyle choices, and certain medical conditions, can influence this decline in male fertility. Another factor recently gaining attention is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), a hormone treatment.
What is TRT?
Testosterone replacement therapy is a medical treatment that involves the administration of testosterone to individuals who have low levels of this hormone in the body. TRT is typically prescribed to address symptoms of low testosterone, such as fatigue, decreased libido, and mood changes. Exogenous testosterone is introduced into the body through various methods, such as gels, injections, or patches. TRT can effectively address symptoms of low testosterone and improve overall well-being for men, but there are concerns about the impact of this treatment on male fertility.
How TRT affects sperm
The connection between TRT and sperm count is a topic of ongoing research and debate. Recent studies have shown that TRT can have a negative impact on sperm count and motility. This means that men undergoing testosterone replacement may experience a decrease in the number of sperm, as well as a decrease in the ability of those sperm to move effectively. The exact mechanisms through which TRT affects sperm count and quality are not yet fully understood. Scientists believe the administration of exogenous testosterone can disrupt the normal hormonal balance in the body, which in turn can interfere with the production and development of sperm. Furthermore, TRT use can also lead to other adverse effects on male fertility, such as changes in the shape of the sperm and DNA integrity. These concerns have prompted further investigation into the potential effects of TRT on male fertility.
TRT and male fertility
As previously mentioned, TRT can potentially lead to a decrease in sperm count and motility, which can ultimately affect male fertility. This is particularly concerning for men who are seeking to achieve pregnancy. If a man is on TRT and having trouble conceiving, discontinuation may be required. Possible alternatives include exploring natural treatment options for testosterone levels. Adjusting the dosage or combining TRT with other therapies can also support or enhance fertility. In the event of severely damaged sperm, assisted reproductive technology (ART), like in vitro fertilization (IVF), can help.
Don’t overlook TRT use
Testosterone replacement therapy can increase energy and libido, improving natural pregnancy chances. However, there is growing awareness of the potential adverse effects of TRT on sperm. Individuals considering or currently receiving TRT should have an open and honest discussion with healthcare providers about any fertility goals and concerns. Men can then work with a reproductive specialist to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.