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Can Taking Testosterone Supplements Hurt a Man’s Fertility?

Can Taking Testosterone Supplements Hurt a Man’s Fertility?

Testosterone is a "male" hormone known as an #androgen that both men and women produce endogenously within our bodies—typically men produce it at higher levels.

Not uncommonly, men may decide to take (or be prescribed) testosterone supplementation for various reasons, such as:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Decreased libido
  3. Desire to increase muscle mass/strength

In males, testosterone is predominantly made in the testicles where it plays a pivotal role in sperm production. When men take testosterone supplementation, it increases the amount of testosterone in their blood, which results in something called "negative feedback." This can trick their brain into thinking they are making ample Testosterone and sends a signal to their brain to decrease release of the preceding hormones (FSH and LH), which promote testosterone production within the testicles. Because spermatogenesis (the process of making sperm) relies upon a high concentration of testosterone locally within the testes, this may result in decreased sperm production and lower sperm counts. 

The good thing, however, is that the sperm count returns back to baseline within a few months of stopping testosterone for many!

Nonetheless, anyone considering taking testosterone supplementation may want to discuss its potential effects on their fertility with their doctor, prior to initiating it. Have a discussion with your partner about it, and make decisions together that might affect your future plans.

Author
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

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