If you’re a man and your partner isn’t getting pregnant – even though it’s something you both want – you may consider taking a fertility test.
There are several hormones that can affect a man’s fertility. Hormones produced by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and testicles play a key role in sexual development and sperm production. Abnormalities in other hormonal or organ systems also might contribute to infertility. A blood test measures the level of testosterone and other hormones.
Our test checks the following hormones:
Infertility can be due to a hormone deficiency. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) cause the testes to produce testosterone and sperm. The pituitary gland, located in the brain, makes these hormones. Any condition that lowers LH and FSH levels, such as a pituitary tumor, can result in low or no sperm production and low blood testosterone levels.
A typical male fertility test measures certain hormones to ensure they are balanced to support the normal reproductive system.
The test measures different hormones that are important for gauging fertility. These are:
Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone that is produced in the testes (and, to a lesser degree, the adrenal gland near the kidney). Testosterone plays many crucial roles in men, including (but not limited to):
T-levels generally decline with age (from the age of 30 onwards) but many men do not know low testosterone can be a problem. Since any decline can happen slowly, it can go unnoticed which is why it’s important to get tested.
Any man who is experiencing the following symptoms should have their testosterone levels tested. Symptoms of low testosterone include (among others):
Luteinising hormone (LH) is a hormone present in the blood which helps regulate the reproductive system, especially that of women (their ovaries) and in men (their testes).
For men, LH stimulates the production of testosterone from Leydig cells in the testes. Testosterone, in turn, stimulates sperm production and helps accentuate male characteristics — like a deep voice or growth of facial hair.
People who have high levels of LH may experience infertility, because the hormone directly impacts the reproductive system.
Low levels of LH can also cause infertility, because insufficient levels will limit the production of sperm or the ovulation process. Too little LH stops ovulation in women or creates a deficiency in gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion in men.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a crucial sex hormone associated with fertility. It should be measured by both partners when there is difficulty in getting pregnant.
In men, it stimulates testicular growth and helps produce a protein that plays a vital role in male fertility by aiding in the creation of normal sperm cells and maintaining them until they are ready to be released. Without normal FSH levels, it may be difficult or impossible to create normal sperm, leading to infertility.
A high FSH level in a male may mean the testicles are not functioning correctly. While low FSH levels in males may indicate problems with the pituitary gland in the brain.
Low FSH levels in males may mean the pituitary gland in the brain is not functioning properly. (This is less common than high FSH.)
Prolactin is a hormone normally present in low amounts in men and non-pregnant women.
In men its exact role is unclear but high levels can cause infertility, low sexual desire & erectile dysfunction.
Elevated levels of prolactin can inhibit gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) release from the brain’s hypothalamus. GnRH controls the production of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland.
Decreased GnRH can disrupt FSH and LH secretion by the pituitary gland, which can result in low testosterone levels and impair sperm production and quality.
Order a Male Fertility Home Test Kit. Our Male Fertility home blood test kit checks the four key male hormones relating to sperm production, testicular function and general sexual health. Although normal hormone levels do not eliminate fertility problems, abnormal levels are cause for further investigation.
Get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly and securely online.
Treatment for male infertility depends on the cause.
Surgery can repair a blockage in the sperm transport system. Vasectomy can be surgically reversed in up to 85 percent of cases, but many men remain infertile even after the blockage is fixed (other types of blockage such as those caused by past infections can be harder to treat). Repair of varicoceles is more likely to bring back fertility if the veins are large and if the repair is done before any long-term damage. Surgery also can repair varicoceles, but it may not restore fertility.
If the cause is due to low testosterone, treatment with hormone injections (LH and FSH) is usually successful. However, it may take a year or longer of hormone therapy to get enough sperm production and bring back fertility.
Other options for a couple to achieve pregnancy include assisted reproductive technologies. These treatments include inserting collected sperm into the womb, mixing sperm with an egg outside the body (in vitro fertilization or IVF), or injecting a single sperm into an egg (intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI).
To improve your chances of successful treatment, it is helpful to maintain a healthy lifestyle— exercise often, eat a healthy diet, and do not smoke or use recreational drugs. Also, continue treatment for any chronic illness.
If after testing your hormone levels you are still having difficulty conceiving, make an appointment to speak with your doctor. They may conduct further tests and suggest a plan of action.
There are many options available and, even before you try those, just some basic lifestyle changes (e.g. stopping smoking, losing some weight, cutting back on alcohol, exercising more etc.) can often ensure success in conceiving.
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