Testing hormone levels can provide a wider picture of overall health.
About one-third of all infertility cases are associated with male infertility. All men should have an understanding of what needs to be done to determine if they are experiencing fertility issues.
- If a couple is trying to conceive, both the man and woman should have their fertility tested.
- For men, this often involves testing certain hormone levels.
Testosterone is the primary male hormone. When levels of testosterone drop below what is considered normal, it may have a direct impact on fertility in men. It may cause problems with sperm production, as well as cause erectile dysfunction and negatively impact a man’s sex drive. This hormone is primarily produced in the testicles and the production is controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. The adrenal glands also produce some of the testosterone in the body. Testosterone levels drop as men get older, as well as due to certain medical issues.
While considered to be a female hormone, estradiol also plays a role in male reproduction and fertility. It helps the sperm to aid in reproduction. Some research also shows that this hormone is needed to ensure that men have a sufficient sperm count. Men only make a small amount of this hormone naturally. It is produced by the adrenal glands, testicles, and pituitary gland.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone
Levels of this hormone are usually only tested in men if they have a reduced total motile sperm count or low sperm density. This hormone works with luteinizing hormone to help ensure that the testicles are producing sufficient amounts of sperm and testosterone. In addition, it helps to ensure that the sperm cells produced are properly maintained until they are released. The pituitary gland, located in the brain, is what works to produce follicle stimulating hormone.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
When the thyroid is not functioning properly, this may interfere with fertility in men. In addition to fertility problems, when the thyroid is underactive, men might also experience weight gain, fatigue, muscle aches, and dry skin. If their thyroid is overactive, they might experience fatigue, palpitations, fast heart rate and weight loss.
After getting a total testosterone test, if a man’s levels are below 300 ng/dL, this test might be ordered. Too much of this hormone may cause infertility in men. When high, prolactin can negatively impact testicle health, resulting in abnormal sperm or low testosterone levels.
This hormone stimulates the production of testosterone in the Leydig cells. It has a synergistic relationship with follicle stimulating hormone. When testosterone levels are abnormal, sperm production can reduce, making it much harder to conceive a child.