What is testosterone and how it links with sperm quality
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It is a steroid hormone produced in men’s testicles. Testosterone plays a very important role in sperm production. In this post, we explain how testosterone links with sperm quality and how you can boost your testosterone naturally and we look at the causes of low testosterone/
The role of testosterone in sperm quality
First of all, it is important to know that testosterone is a hormone that regulates the sex organs and stimulates sperm production. Therefore, testosterone is important for sperm quality. Furthermore, testosterone regulates body metabolism, bone density, hair growth, and other organ functions. It plays an important role in sexual performance and libido. Testosterone increases the ability to build lean muscle mass and burn fat for fuel as well as contributing to bone health.
Testosterone and sperm production
The testosterone level in the blood is regulated by a coordinated effort between the brain and the testicles (Figure 1). The process functions as a feedback system and a disruption in one of the hormones involved may lead to disruption of others. The hypothalamus in the brain releases a hormone called Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone stimulates the production of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland, also located in the brain. Once produced, LH then stimulates specific cells (Leydig cells) in the testes to produce testosterone. This testosterone in turn works with FSH to stimulate the sperm production in the testicles.
Even though testosterone is important for sperm production, low testosterone level does not necessarily cause infertility. Similarly, a high testosterone level does not necessarily mean that you are fertile because sperm production is also dependent on other factors such as FSH and LH.
Testosterone levels in the blood to determine how much GnRH, FSH, and LH to release. These hormones regulate both testosterone and sperm production. This means that when a man takes exogenous testosterone (anabolic steroids), it has a negative effect on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, causing a drop in FSH and LH. This leads to less production of testosterone in the testicles, which can lead to a reduced or failed sperm production.
Figure 1: Testosterone production in the body
Causes and syptoms of low testosterone
Symptoms of low testosterone can include reduced libido, fatigue, mood swings, sluggishness, and sleep disturbances. If you are struggling with some of the symptoms, don’t despair! This is not something unusual as many men struggle with low testosterone levels.
Although low testosterone can be due to genetics, an unhealthy lifestyle can certainly also contribute to lowering testosterone production. In scientific literature, the reduction has been attributed to inadequate sleep, stress levels, environmental toxins, and high consumption of junk food   .
This means there is a good chance of increasing testosterone naturally with a fit and healthy lifestyle. To know more about this, read Part 2: How to boost testosterone for better fertility. We also have a dedicated blog to the causes and symptons of low testosterone