WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE?
Testosterone is usually recognised as the male sex hormone, although it is found in both men and women. However, men have higher levels of testosterone, which is essential for a variety of important body functions, including muscle-building, bone density, metabolism, mood, concentration, memory, libido and fertility. It can also help protect against health conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
The older you get, the less testosterone your body produces, and this can cause symptoms like lack of energy, loss of muscle mass, difficulty with erection and low sex drive. Unhealthy habits can also reduce testosterone levels, but with a healthy lifestyle and the right nutrients, your testosterone levels can be increased naturally.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE?
Low testosterone is a relatively common sexual health problem that can affect men at any age and from any background. After the age of 30, testosterone levels start to decline, but unlike the female menopause, hormone levels in men should drop gradually. However, in some cases, men may experience a reduction in their testosterone levels for other reasons: diseases, chronic stress, anabolic steroids, and alcohol or drug abuse can also lower testosterone levels. It’s worth noting that low testosterone is much more common among people with diabetes or obesity.
If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms below, it’s advisable you talk to your healthcare provider about having a blood test done to check your testosterone levels.
- Low moods
- Loss of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Aching muscles
- Feeling tired and weak
- Loss of body hair and bone mass
- Loss of morning erections and libido
- Erectile dysfunction
CAN LOW TESTOSTERONE CAUSE INFERTILITY?
Although testosterone plays an important role in sperm production, low testosterone doesn’t always directly cause infertility. Men with low testosterone can still produce healthy sperm, because sperm production is also stimulated by other hormones.
However, a testosterone deficiency can reduce the number of sperm. Low testosterone can also indirectly affect a man’s fertility by reducing the desire for sex and causing erectile dysfunction, which can make it difficult to reach a climax or to have sex often enough to achieve pregnancy.
NATURAL WAYS TO BOOST TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION
Men with low testosterone may be given testosterone replacement therapy if the benefits are considered to outweigh the risks and side effects. However, low testosterone doesn’t necessarily require treatment. It can often be corrected by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Making positive changes to your diet, activity level and overall lifestyle can naturally increase your testosterone levels.
- Get adequate sleep
Quality sleep is essential to your immunity, sex drive and testosterone levels. Try to cut down on coffee or caffeinated drinks throughout the day, as they will greatly impact your ability to fall asleep.
- Try to reduce stress in your everyday life
When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels rise, suppressing testosterone production. Relaxation techniques can significantly help to lower cortisol levels.
- Eat healthily and watch your weight
Avoid foods that cause your blood sugar level to rise. These include sugar, white bread, fruit juices, processed foods and sweets. Incorporate more complex carbohydrates and dietary fibres into your diet, such as wholemeal products, pulses, fruit and vegetables. The more fat tissue you have, the less testosterone there is in your body. So if you’re overweight, you can optimise your testosterone levels by losing weight.
- Exercise Regularly
Building and maintaining muscle not only helps you maintain weight, keep body fat down, and protect you from bone loss, but it can also increase testosterone levels.
If you lack certain nutrients, the body may produce less testosterone. You might want to consider taking supplements to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Studies show that these vitamins and minerals in particular benefit testosterone production.
- Other recommendations
Avoid consuming alcohol and nicotine. Excessive exposure to heat – for example, saunas, hot tubs and baths – can lower your sperm count. Similarly, don’t spend long periods with your laptop on your lap.
At OvobankID, we have a large pool of sperm donors who have been screened and selected according to strict protocols. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you to achieve a successful outcome to your fertility treatment, please contact the person in charge of our sperm bank in your country. We’ll be happy to help you.