Effect of Hormones on Male Fertility

Effect of Hormones on Male Fertility

You might be wondering about the correlation between hormones and male fertility.

Hormones affect your fertility in a variety of ways. Some hormones affect fertility indirectly, while others have a direct impact.

Here, we’ll cover the types of hormones and their effects on male fertility.

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemicals that send messages to your organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues in your body, allowing them to perform various functions.

These signals instruct your body on what to do and when. Hormones play a vital role in your life and health.

Your body utilizes hormones for two types of communication.
The first form of communication is between two endocrine glands: one gland releases a hormone, which prompts another gland to change its hormone levels.
The second form of communication is that which takes place between an endocrine gland and a target organ.

Hormones are essential for the male reproductive system to function properly therefore, the proper balance of hormones decides the success of this system.

Hormone Imbalance

Hormone imbalance is as a result of having too much or too little of hormones. Hence, this can lead to symptoms and issues with your health.

Hormonal imbalances can result in male infertility and account for around 10% of male factor infertility cases. Thus, It can manifest in a variety of ways, from sexual dysfunction to low sperm concentration.

In the absence of adequate production of certain types of hormones, infertility may occur in the male body.

Let’s take a look at these types of hormones and their effects on male fertility.

Types of Hormone and Effects on Male Fertility

There are three major male fertility hormones.
These three male fertility hormones are essential for sperm production. They are counter-balanced; an imbalance in one might cause an imbalance in the other.

Therefore, for healthy sperm and good male fertility, all three listed below must be properly balanced.


Testosterone is a male sex hormone that enhances the development of male sexual characteristics. It is produced in the testicles by cells known as Leydig cells.

Testosterone is important for the formation and growth of male sex organs (the penis and testes). It is also required for some aspects of the spermatogenesis process, specifically the division and differentiation of sperm cells. It is responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics such as muscle growth, body hair, and a deeper voice during puberty.

Effect of Testosterone on Male Fertility

Testosterone Imbalances, such as low testosterone levels, can result in low sex drive or erectile dysfunction.
Furthermore, chronic or ongoing low testosterone may lead to osteoporosis, mood swings, reduced energy, and testicular shrinkage.

Causes of testosterone imbalance can include:

  • testicular injury, such as castration
  • infection of the testicles
  • medications, such as opiate analgesics
  • disorders that affect the hormones, such as pituitary tumors or high prolactin levels
  • chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, kidney and liver disease, obesity, and HIV/AIDS
  • genetic diseases, such as Klinefelter syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, hemochromatosis, Kallman syndrome, and myotonic dystrophy

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Follicle stimulating hormone, a gonadotrophic hormone releases into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland.
FSH stimulates sperm production in men by acting on Sertoli cells, which are somatic (non-reproductive) cells in the testes (spermatogenesis). To produce sperm in the testes, this hormone collaborates with the luteinizing hormone (LH).

Effect of FSH on Male Fertility

FSH imbalance can affect sperm quality parameters such as count, concentration, morphology, and motility.
Low FSH levels in men could indicate that the pituitary gland in the brain isn’t functioning properly, which can have serious implications for sperm quality. (It’s less common than having a high FSH level.)

A high FSH level in a man could indicate that his testicles aren’t functioning correctly.

Causes of this may include;

  • damage to the testicles (from radiation, trauma, or alcohol abuse)
  • genetic problems
  • advancing age
  • hormonal disorders
  • certain medications (like pain medications or steroids)
  • diseases such as HIV/AIDS or Type 2 diabetes
  • tumors of the pituitary gland (in rare cases)

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

Luteinizing hormone is a gonadotrophic hormone generated and released by anterior pituitary gland cells, similar to FSH. It is important in regulating the function of the testes in men.

In the testes, luteinizing hormone (LH) is responsible for testosterone production. Furthermore, LH stimulates the Leydig cells in the testes, which create the testosterone needed to support sperm production. LH is produced in the pituitary gland, just as FSH.

Effect of LH on Male Fertility

LH causes the testicles to produce testosterone, which is necessary for sperm production in men. LH levels in men do not fluctuate considerably in most cases.

Infertility can be caused by abnormalities in the function of LH, as a result, impair the spermatogenesis process.
Too high levels of LH or FSH, on the other hand, may indicate testicular failure or injury. The pituitary gland produces both hormones. If spermatogenesis in the testes is not progressing properly, the pituitary will go into overdrive and produce more LH and FSH.

Other Significant Male Fertility Hormones

These hormones have an effect on male fertility. While they do not directly affect sperm production, they do influence fertility and sperm health.


Studies show that increased estrogen levels in males can reduce sex drive and decrease sperm concentration and motility.


Excess of prolactin results to hyperprolactinemia. According to study, this condition is observed in 11% of infertile guys and has been associated with poor sperm quality.

High levels of prolactin can hinder the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the hypothalamus, therefore resulting in a drop in FSH, LH, and testosterone—all of which are necessary for healthy sperm development.

Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH)

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is also produced in the pituitary gland. Therefore, if your thyroid is not functioning properly, the pituitary gland will continue to produce a high quantity of TSH.

As a result, abnormally high or low TSH levels in the blood can suggest a thyroid condition such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) (overactive thyroid).

According to research, hypothyroidism has a negative impact on male fertility as it affects sperm parameters such as count, morphology, and motility.
However, it is extremely rare in males and affects less than 1% of the male population.


Some men struggle with a wide range of infertility due to some of these hormone imbalances.

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If you have any question, comment, clarification or contribution, kindly put it in the comment box below. One of our team members will definitely respond to you.

Stay healthy and never give up!


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