Could disorders such as diabetes and osteoporosis affect men’s fertility? Many men who struggle with male infertility assume that their reproductive systems are at fault. However, the problem may be a much more pervasive one, affecting health through your entire body.
Male infertility is the culprit in around 60% of infertility cases. According to Austin male infertility specialist Dr. Parviz Kavoussi, these reproductive difficulties may be due to disease processes that affect the entire body, such as osteoporosis and diabetes. How can systemic disorders such as diabetes affect reproduction? New studies may have found the reason for the link.
Men’s Fertility and Hormonal Balance
Male infertility is often linked to low levels of hormones such as testosterone. Testosterone levels are an important factor in sperm count and libido. A lack of testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, is one of the major causes of male infertility. When testosterone levels are the culprit, they are often easy to treat. However, there are times when low testosterone is a sign of a more serious underlying disease.
Our endocrine system, metabolism, and fertility are inseparably linked. Many hormones have functions in two or more pathways. For example, testosterone does not just affect fertility, but also energy levels, metabolism and bone density. This hormone is a major factor in almost every aspect of men’s health. The result of these links between different systems is that male infertility is often more than a reproductive problem.
Male Infertility Linked to Osteoporosis and Diabetes
In many cases, male infertility can be the first sign that something is wrong in the endocrine system. About one-third of men who struggle to conceive also have a higher risk of diabetes and osteoporosis. There are several reasons this link may exist. First, there may be an underlying disorder causing both infertility and endocrine disease. A second option is that the low testosterone is directly affecting glucose metabolism and bone mineralization.
The exact mechanism of the link between testosterone and diabetes is not known. However, men who have low testosterone have lower fasting insulin levels. Insulin levels return to normal when these men are given testosterone supplementation. Testosterone’s effects on bone density are better understood. Testosterone directly inhibits bone resorption, or breakdown, leading to denser, stronger bones. A lack of testosterone thus can cause increased rates of breakdown of the bones and a lower bone density.
Whole Body Health: The Key to Men’s Fertility
Dr. Kavoussi feels that every man who wants to become a father should start with an annual checkup. Yearly physical examinations and blood work can identify many of the endocrine disorders that are linked to male infertility. If a man still cannot conceive, the second stop should be at a male infertility specialist. Good physical health is one of the foundations of high fertility.
If a man is infertile, it is even more important than ever to get routine health care. Infertile men are at higher risk of diseases that can be treated successfully when caught early. In addition, treating these diseases may increase the chance of successfully conceiving. In many cases, male infertility is a red flag that something is amiss in a man’s health, which should never be ignored. Good health is one of the most important factors in male fertility.