Hormonal Problem-Male infertility

Hormonal Problem-Male infertility

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Hormonal Problem-Male infertility
Posted in 2015

Hormonal Problems - Male Infertility
A small percentage of male infertility is caused by hormonal problems. The hypothalamus-pituitary endocrine system regulates the chain of hormonal events that enables testes to produce and effectively disseminate sperm. Several things can go wrong with the hypothalamus-pituitary endocrine system:
· The brain can fail to release gonadotrophic-releasing hormone (GnRH) properly. GnRH stimulates
the hormonal pathway that causes testosterone synthesis and sperm production. A disruption in
GnRH release leads to a lack of testosterone and a cessation in sperm production.
· The pituitary can fail to produce enough lutenizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone
(FSH) to stimulate the testes and testosterone/sperm production. LH and FSH are intermediates
in the hormonal pathway responsible for testosterone and sperm production.
· The testes’ Leydig cells may not produce testosterone in response to LH stimulation.
· A male may produce other hormones and chemical compounds which interfere with the
sex-hormone balance.
The following is a list of hormonal disorders which can disrupt male infertility:
Elevated prolactin--a hormone associated with nursing mothers, is found in 10 to 40 percent of infertile males. Mild elevation of prolactin levels produces no symptoms, but greater elevations of the hormone reduces sperm production, reduces libido and may cause impotence. This condition responds well to the drug Parlodel (bromocriptine).
Low thyroid hormone levels--can cause poor semen quality, poor testicular function and may disturb libido. May be caused by a diet high in iodine. Reducing iodine intake or beginning thyroid hormone replacement therapy can elevate sperm count. This condition is found in only 1 percent of infertile men.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia:
Occurs when the pituitary is suppressed by increased levels of adrenal androgens. Symptoms include low sperm count, an increased number of immature sperm cells, and low sperm cell motility. Is treated with cortisone replacement therapy. This condition is found in only 1 percent of infertile men.
Hypogonadotropic Hypopituitarism:
Low pituitary gland output of LH and FSH. This condition arrests sperm development and causes the progressive loss of germ cells from the testes and causes the seminiferous tubules and Leydig (testosterone producing) cells to deteriorate. May be treated with the drug Serophene. However, if all germ cells are destroyed before treatment commences, the male may be permanently infertile.
Complete pituitary gland failure--lowers growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and LH and FSH levels. Symptoms include: lethargy, impotence, decreased libido, loss of secondary sex characteristics, and normal or undersized testicles. Supplementing the missing pituitary hormones may restore vigor and a hormone called hCG may stimulate testosterone and sperm production.
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