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5 Facts About Testosterone Your Urologist Wants You to Know

There are various places all over the internet to read about testosterone, but you never know if you can trust the source to give you the real facts. A urologist, on the other hand, has dedicated their life to understanding and helping people with concerns related to the male reproductive and hormonal systems. London Andrology hosts two dedicated urologists available for a private consultation. Here are 5 facts about testosterone they want you to know.

1.   Testosterone peaks during puberty, levels out, then steadily declines.

Testosterone is highest when a man is between the ages of 17 to 19 and then levels out shortly after these years. After the age of 30, testosterone levels begin to decline at a regular rate of about 1% per year.

There is no cause for alarm as the body continues to create testosterone even though the pace at which it produces the hormone begins to slow. This can sometimes bring a decrease in libido, but there are many options to boost testosterone and libido to maintain sexual performance.

2.   Men need testosterone for sperm production.

Sperm is produced in the testes, the same place that testosterone production and release into the body occurs. Testosterone along with other hormones are responsible for signalling the body to produce sperm. Problems with the testicles can result in problems with both testosterone levels and sperm production.

When fertility problems occur, checking testosterone levels is a common part of the evaluation process. In cases where there is a male factor in an infertility case, boosting testosterone may be part of the prescribed solution.

3.   Low testosterone can cause problems from depression to memory failures.

Low testosterone is most known for affecting a drop in libido, but this isn’t the only negative result. Lowered levels of testosterone can also result in:

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Lowered sexual performance
  • Poor concentration
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Memory loss
  • Osteoporosis

Any concerns about low testosterone should be brought to your doctor or urologist. A simple physical examination followed by a blood test can check testosterone levels and whether the testes are healthy and functioning.

4.   Testosterone is produced in the testes but regulated from the brain.

Both men and women have testosterone, and both men and women have different optimal levels of testosterone. For men, testosterone is produced by the way of signals in the brain that tell the testes to produce sperm. In women, it’s produced in the ovaries. Testosterone is also produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands in both sexes.

The pituitary gland and hypothalamus gland in the brain is where the levels of testosterone are monitored and regulated. These glands regulate many of the hormones in the body, testosterone being only one of multiple hormones required for healthy functioning.

5.   High testosterone is not necessarily a good thing.

Some bodybuilders and athletes might consider a high testosterone level a good thing, but this isn’t quite true. Abnormally high levels of testosterone can be just as damaging as abnormally low levels of testosterone.

Negative effects of overly high testosterone levels include:

  • Low sperm counts
  • Insomnia
  • Acne
  • Increased aggression and anxiety
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of blood clots

You should talk to a health professional if you are concerned about your testosterone levels. A urologist specialises in male reproductive system along with other systems in the male body, and will be able to provide for you the most information and options.

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7 Common Myths About Male Infertility

Male Infertility affects 1 in 7 couples in the UK. Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse.

Typically, 84% of couples successfully conceive naturally over the course of a year with regular, unprotected sex. The causes for male infertility or female infertility range from lifestyle issues to more complex conditions.

Care for male infertility specifically is less common in the UK, with only a few consultation urologists dedicated to this field. However, the best care starts with education and informed decision-making. These are some of the most common myths about male infertility and the truth behind them.

1.   Fertility and infertility are a woman’s problem.

Having a child requires two people with functional reproductive systems. Both men and women may experience fertility issues. When couples attempt their first pregnancy, about 15% fail to conceive. After seeking treatment, a male factor can be the cause in up to 50% of cases.

If fertility is a concern, both partners should seek fertility consultations for professional assistance and diagnoses of the problem. Diagnosing issues begins with assessing both partners’ fertility.

2.   Masturbating too much causes infertility.

The simple answer is that masturbation doesn’t have any major effects on fertility. Excessive ejaculation can result in a temporary drop in sperm count, but does not typically result in infertility issues. Your body will produce more sperm in time again.

If you plan to discuss fertility concerns with your doctor or urologist, remember that your sexual history will be included. A urologist will be able to best explain which sexual habits you should consider to maximize your fertility.

3.   Men can easily have children all their lives.

Sperm function, like many bodily functions, decline with age. While men may continue to produce sperm throughout their entire life, the quality and quantity of sperm decreases.

Men begin to lose sperm at around 2% per year from ages 30-40, and then significantly after the age of 50. If you are hoping to conceive and are concerned about your age, consider making an appointment with a consultant urologist to have a fertility assessment.

4.   Male infertility is always due to low sperm or testosterone.

There are various causes for male infertility. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hormonal problems
  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Previous surgeries on the testis
  • Drugs and medications
  • Sperm DNA damage and other genetic problems.

There are rare cases where no cause can be determined, but that does not mean treatment options are not available for those wishing to conceive together.

5.   Avoiding ejaculation or sex increases fertility.

The good news is that long periods of abstinence are not going to increase fertility by any extreme degrees. Withholding ejaculation or abstaining from sex can temporarily increase overall sperm count according to some research but this is not the only effect that abstinence has.

Abstinence can affect sperm count, sperm health, sperm motility and sperm morphology.

6.   Taking testosterone will help increase fertility.

Low testosterone may affect a man’s libido, and can affect fertility to some degree.  Under no circumstances should you take any hormone supplements without first discussing it with your doctor or urologist.

Taking testosterone without the supervision of a health professional can in fact lead to lowered fertility rates. Taking testosterone supplements and bodybuilding drugs results in the body producing less testosterone by itself and reduces sperm count and is not something you want if you are looking to boost your fertility.

7.   Lifestyle does not affect male fertility.

Various lifestyle factors all affect fertility and infertility, including but not limited to:

  • Diet
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • Smoking
    • Weight
    • Stress

For a deeper understanding of common lifestyle influences on male infertility, read about 9 common lifestyle factors that could affect male fertility.

When to visit a urologist

Any questions or concerns you have about male infertility can be brought to a urologist. Since a urologist specialises in understanding the male reproductive system, they will have the most knowledge and treatment options for you to discuss male infertility.

If you are looking to conceive but have not had any success, or have a concern about male infertility, make an appointment with the urologists at London Andrology. Our urologists are some of the most eminent in the UK and will be happy to help discuss your fertility concerns with a high degree of professionalism, sensitivity and understanding.