Infertility or unable to conceive a baby can make you feel mentally as well as physically drained. To diagnose the cause is usually not easy, in other words, detection of infertility in men is not at all an easy task. It involves a series of tests that both the partners need to undergo. In fact, up to half of all the cases of infertility involve the male partner.
To determine the root cause of male infertility, there are many tests available these days. One of which is the hormone testing. The hormones produced by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and testicles are crucial for the development of the male reproductive parts and most importantly for sperm production.
How is Hormone Testing Done?
Any abnormalities or imbalance caused in the sex hormones can lead to fertility issues in men. In the hormone testing, the patient will be required to give a blood sample. No other requirement is needed from the patient. The blood sample undergoes a series of tests to obtain a complete hormone profile. The levels of the below-mentioned hormones are evaluated by the doctor that helps in the detection of infertility in men:
Follicle stimulating hormone or FSH is produced by the pituitary gland that is responsible for healthy sperm production in men.
Luteinizing hormone or LH is also produced by the pituitary gland that plays a key role in male infertility. LH stimulates the production of testosterone. Any rise in the level of this hormone could mean that the testicles are not producing enough testosterone.
This male sex hormone is produced by the testicles of a man. Testosterone is responsible for a man’s masculine characteristics such as hair growth, bone, and muscle strength. The levels of testosterone can decline with age, but if there is an unusual decrease then it can lead to infertility in men.
In cases of complete testicular failure FSH and LH levels are elevated whereas testosterone may be low or normal.
Low levels of FSH, LH and Testosterone with low sperm count suggest hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
Sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG is glycoprotein that helps in binding two sex hormones. An increased level of SHBG indicates less free testosterone or oestrogen is biologically active and available to the tissues whereas a low level of SHBG can mean an excess of these hormones in the body.
Prolactin is produced by the pituitary glands. If the prolactin level increases in men, then their sexual drive decreases. In some cases, this can also cause erectile dysfunction, fertility issues and lack of energy in them. Hyperprolactinaemia can also lead to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
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