There has been a lot of information about low-T and fertility 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 male infertility.
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.
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 male infertility and testosterone supplementation 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.
Take the first step toward reaching your goal. Call our office today and schedule a consultation with one of our male fertility physicians. We serve the Austin, San Antonio, and Houston areas with comprehensive reproductive endocrinology and infertility care.
TFC Video: Male Infertility
How Do You Treat Male Infertility? Dr. Kaylen Silverberg discusses the best treatment options when facing male infertility.
Watch more TFC videos in our education center
TFC Ovation Research : Male Infertility
Chizhong Wang*, Ji-won Choi*, Leonardo F. Urbanoy†, Puneet Massonz‡, Matthew VerMilyea§, and Moshe Kam*; Tracking of Human Sperm in Time-Lapse Images. *Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, USA, †70 Beharrel St., Concord, MA, USA, ‡Penn Fertility Care, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, §Ovation Fertility, Austin, TX, USA.