Low T Affects Male Fertility By Lowering Sperm Production
There has been a lot of information about low-T on the internet and television lately. Low-T refers to a low Testosterone level which can result in a number of symptoms in men. Testosterone is a hormone that is produced primarily in a man’s testicles. When the testosterone level is low it may cause symptoms such as lower sex drive, a lack of energy or increased fatigue, reduced muscle strength or endurance, less strong erections, and a lower sense of well-being or happiness.
If you have one or more of these symptoms you may want to talk to your provider about having your testosterone level checked. It is normal for testosterone levels to gradually decrease as you get older. However, if you have a low T and have the symptoms associated with low T you may want to consider your options for treatment. But before you start treatment it is important to have a discussion about your future fertility plans because taking testosterone supplements will dramatically reduce the amount of sperm your testes produce.
There are a number of different options for testosterone replacement for men with low T.
There are testosterone gels that are rubbed into your skin daily. There are also testosterone patches you can apply to your skin. Some men prefer to receive testosterone injections every one to two weeks rather than use the daily gels or patches. The injections are usually given into your buttocks and must be given by a provider. There are also longer acting testosterone pellets which can be inserted into your hip by your provider. Lastly, there is a new oral testosterone tablet which you can apply to your gums twice a day.
Any of the treatments will restore your testosterone to a normal or high level, but they have the side effect of reducing the amount of sperm your testicles produce which can result in infertility. The longer you are on the testosterone replacement the lower your sperm count will be, and prolonged treatment may result in permanent sterility. If you have not started or completed your childbearing it is important to discuss this issue with your provider before starting treatment. There are options such as freezing your sperm before starting testosterone replacement that will enable you to have healthy sperm for fertility options later. You may also consider using medications that stimulate your testicles to produce more testosterone, such as Clomid, which do not have the side effects of lowering your sperm count.