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What Negative Effects does Testosterone Therapy Have on Fertility in Men?

The Effects of Testosterone Therapy on Male Fertility

Testosterone is a sex hormone produced in the body that plays several critical roles. For men, it plays an essential role in sperm production, libido, bone growth and strength, and muscle size and strength. 

Due to its many important roles in the male body, it’s not uncommon for men to take or be prescribed testosterone therapy in the form of supplements, injections, patches, and even gels to increase its production in the body. 

Common reasons that men take testosterone include:

-decreased libido (or sex drive)

-desire to increase muscle mass and strength

-fatigue and low energy

Testosterone therapy can help increase libido in men as well as help with building muscle mass and strength. One common place you may hear of testosterone use is in a gym environment for that reason. Testosterone can also help with increased energy, which leads some men to seek testosterone therapy at some point in their adult lives.

While there are positive effects brought on by testosterone therapy, some side effects are undesirable, including a decrease in fertility.

Testosterone Therapy and Infertility

Testosterone is necessary for sperm production and helps keep the sex organs functioning properly, but an increase in testosterone through supplements and medications can often impair fertility for men. 

This increased use of testosterone can limit sperm production or cause the testicles to shrink. This is because testosterone therapy often decreases the levels of another important hormone in the body called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is imperative for stimulating the production of sperm.

Testosterone therapy disrupts the normal hormonal balance required for sperm production, but in most cases, it is reversible. Men who have been on testosterone therapy for a short period will often recover their fertility at a quicker rate than those who have been doing it much longer. In some rare instances, infertility issues cannot be reversed and can even leave men with azoospermia, a condition where no sperm are produced in the body.

Talk to Your Doctor Today

Testosterone production does decrease with age, but in most healthy men, it’s still at a level that maintains all of the essential functions in your body, from libido to muscle mass and strength. Still, some men do notice changes related to the function of testosterone that would leave them to consider testosterone therapy. 

If you are considering testosterone therapy, it’s important to speak with your doctor about the potential side effects, such as its impact on fertility. Not all testosterone therapies are the same; some come with a lower risk of infertility, so weighing the risks and gains from the treatment you are considering is important. 

If you have concerns about your fertility after undergoing testosterone therapy, you can also schedule an appointment with us here at Nova IVF. We can run some diagnostic and health screenings to determine your fertility potential and work with you to offer up next-step solutions for your future family planning goals.

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