The goal of this article is to get you understand how testosterone supplementation can adversely affect your sperm count and what you can do about it.
Many of you may not be aware that about the forty percent of men who use testosterone experienced a decrease in sperm counts which obviously can affect the fertility. Now for most men who take testosterone, this is not an issue because they’ve done having kids. But I’m seeing more than one man in my practice in their twenties and thirties have all the symptoms of low testosterone, who come to me with documented levels below 350, who clearly would benefit from using testosterone, and they still want to have kids.
Are there any studies?
Up until the past few years, there weren’t a lot of published studies that look at testosterone supplementation; it’s affecting your sperm count and whether or not they’re adequate treatment protocols to maintain your sperm counts. However, because of the increased use of testosterone, there are now multiple studies to show that there are protocols that work very effectively and I use them in my practice every day.
So what are your options? The first thing we try is something called HCG which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It’s a nightly injection and what it does is mimic something in the body called luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone is produced by the brain which signals your testicles to make more testosterone naturally hence preserving your sperm count. And I routinely use this in men in their twenties, thirties, and sometimes early forties and I see their testosterone levels bump up into the 800 to 1200 range.
Your second option is using a medication called Clomid. Now I don’t have to use Clomid that often because HCG alone works so very well for most men, but what Clomid does is it tells your brain to make two things: follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, both of which signal your testicles to make more testosterone and sperm naturally.
Your third option is to actually supplement with testosterone in addition to using HCG every other day. It was a great study conducted by UC Irvine down in San Diego had published in the Journal of Neurology when they took a man who supplement with testosterone either topically and injection, and they gave them HCG injections every other day. In that study, every single man who is doing HCG in addition to testosterone maintains their sperm count.
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What if my sperm counts low?
And what if have you been on testosterone for a long period of time or abused anabolic steroids in the past and your sperm counts are completely suppressed? For these patients, we have a very specific protocol when we use high dose HCG and Clomid to bring your sperm count up to the normal range, in addition, optimizing your testosterone levels. The question becomes how long is it going to take for us to get your sperm counts are back up into the normal range? The bulk of the literature says anywhere from three to six months.