Hormonal imbalances can play a significant factor in female infertility, and it can also lead to cases of male infertility. With that in mind, let’s explore the issue in a bit more detail.
The Purpose of Hormones
Hormones are intended to regulate various bodily functions related to physiology and behavior. In men, the primary hormones of note are testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
When a man experiences issues with testosterone, it can affect sex drive, the ability to achieve and sustain an erection, and even overall sperm quality. Problems with LH and/or FSH can result in issues with the production of sperm in a man’s testicles. Issues involving GnRH can affect both testosterone levels and sperm production.
Causes of Male Hormone Imbalances
Male hormone imbalances can be the result of many different health issues. Some of these include:
- Excessive stress
- Poor or unhealthy diet
- Excessive weight
- Chemicals in the environment
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Steroid use/abuse
Issues with Sperm
When hormone imbalances occur and impact sperm, these issues can impact overall sperm quality. This means problem with sperm count, sperm motility (the ability for the sperm to swim), or sperm morphology. All three of these may be impacted, which means a reduced chance of successfully conceiving through natural means.
How Much Does This Impact Male Fertility?
In general, a small percentage of male infertility is the direct result of hormone imbalances per se. Other factors may be at play that interact with hormone imbalances and impact sperm quality and fertility. Addressing the root cause of the hormone imbalance can go a long way toward remedying issues with male infertility.
Treatment Options for Hormone Issues
When lifestyle issues cause hormonal imbalances, the best course of action is improving daily dietary and exercise habits. This can enhance overall bodily function and, in the process, improve hormone production and hormone levels. If lifestyle changes on their own are not effective, the use of medications, hormone therapy, and other non-invasive procedures is typically ideal.
When these treatments that address the hormone imbalance directly prove ineffective at increasing fertility, it may be a good time to meet with an assisted reproduction specialist.
Designing an Ideal Fertility Treatment for You
There are many different options to consider for addressing sperm issues. Sometimes a sperm washing combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI) greatly improves the chances of pregnancy and live birth. Other times the best option is in vitro fertilization (IVF), which involves the fertilization of eggs in a lab. Turning to sperm donors may be worth considering if sperm quality or production is severely affected by a hormonal issue.
Our goal will be to tailor a treatment specifically to your needs, and to give you all the facts you need before moving forward. For more information about sperm problems, hormone issues, and how we can help men improve fertility, be sure to contact us today.