The Growth Hormone Deficiency and Male Infertility Connection
The quest for having children may have a basis in a chemical that is in abundance during puberty – somatotropin (growth hormone, GH). Not only does this substance aid in reaching one’s ideal linear height, it continues to work in the body in many different ways throughout adulthood.
In fact, it plays a role in so many different functions that it is often referred to as the “master hormone” for all that it does.
When we examine the growth hormone deficiency and male infertility connection, it is easy to make sense of how this decline in production of something as vital as GH can play a supporting role in the ability to conceive a child.
Of course, low GH levels are not the only thing that doctors look at during this time while they run the crucial blood tests to diagnose this particular decline.
There are many different factors that can contribute to infertility in males, including:
- Testicular damage, injury, or disorder such as cancer
- Hormonal problems
- Physical Issues such as damaged sperm ducts, variocoele, torsion, Klinefelter’s syndrome
- Erectile dysfunction
- Long-term alcohol abuse
- Prolonged drug or marijuana use
- Anabolic steroids
- Tight underwear
- Hot tubs
- Low levels of zinc and vitamin C in the diet
- Extreme levels of exercise
- Overexposure to toxins and environmental hazards
It is item number two on the list above that we examine as we explore the subject of growth hormone deficiency and male infertility. In making this connection, the goal is to help men find other ways of increasing their odds in this process.
Exploring The Link Between Growth Hormone and Male Infertility
There is an interesting link that can be explored between GH and difficulties with conception. At least one-third of infertility cases are attributed to factors involving the masculine partner.
We regularly associate the pituitary gland, notably the anterior portion, as being the producer of somatotropin; however, GH is expressed in a number of different types of tissues, including the testes. Here it has both autocrine and paracrine functions.
As we continue to explore the link formed between growth hormone deficiency and male infertility, a further definition of the terms just mentioned is as follows:
- Autocrine – the mode of action that occurs when a hormone binds to receptors on and affects the functioning of the same cell that produced it.
- Paracrine – the action that occurs when a hormone is produced by specific endocrine cells and binds to its receptors in nearby cells to affect their functions.
In this instance, GH, along with other locally secreted proteins and peptides such as IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor 1), estrogen, follistatin, activin, inhibin, and cytokines exert both of these actions over the process known as spermatogenesis – the development of sperm.
While this is occurring, other chemicals, including FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), testosterone, and LH (luteinizing hormone) are all involved in the development and maturation of sperm.
When examining growth hormone deficiency and male infertility, we find that GH acts directly at the testicular level to promote sperm production while also working in an indirect way through its own IGF-1 connection (it is the regulator of this chemical’s production in the liver).
The Role of Growth Hormone in Infertility Treatment
As we look at the role GH plays in infertility treatment, it is important to note that men who are dealing with this decline often have smaller-sized testes. Their sperm count will be either low or non-existent. It is no wonder that this contributes to reduced fertility.
Does this mean that treatment with HGH (human growth hormone) injections will reverse growth hormone deficiency and male infertility?
We know for a fact that a doctor who diagnoses a decrease in the production of somatotropin following a blood analysis will be able to provide the treatment that can reverse all of the symptoms associated with this condition. There are other pages to read on this website that go into greater detail on that subject. This article is focused on one specific area, and not intended as a general overview of GH decline.
In men with this imbalance, HGH therapy can restore sperm concentration and motility. In fact, in studies, semen volume, count, and motility were improved in all of the patients during the first three months of therapy.
There is definitely a possible connection between growth hormone deficiency and male infertility, but this is not the answer for all men dealing with issues in this area. Further discussion with one’s fertility doctor, as well as an endocrinologist or hormone replacement specialist is recommended at all times.
Using Growth Hormone Injections for Infertility Treatment
Although the information here may sound promising to those who are trying to conceive at this time, it does not mean that a person should rush out to find HGH injections. There is still a lot to be learned about this subject, and not every infertile man will be GH deficient.
The more we learn about growth hormone deficiency and male infertility the better able we are to help those individuals dealing with these problems get the help they need to put everything back in working order.
The starting point for any man who wants to learn if his GH levels are low is with our doctors here at Kingsberg Medical. We will begin by ordering the appropriate blood tests that will provide this answer.
Depending upon the results of this analysis, treatment with HGH injections might be required to safely and carefully raise the level of somatotropin in the body to what is needed for proper functioning to occur, not only in the reproductive area, but everywhere else, as well.
One thing we do know is that men who come to us with complaints about erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive and arousal, and reduced pleasure report incredible results from this treatment with HGH injections.
Although there is a strong connection to be made between growth hormone deficiency and male infertility, it is important to point out that this treatment does not guarantee conception. There is still a great deal of studying to do on this subject.
Please feel free to direct any questions to our medical staff at this time.Brian Leeber