How does testosterone affect spermatogenesis?
We all know that testosterone is the number one male hormone. When its levels drop, men might feel as if a superpower has been taken away from them. It throws the whole reproductive system off balance. Let’s find out why this hormone plays such an important role in the process of spermatogenesis.
What do we know from the biology lessons? Basically, spermatogenesis is nothing else but a male twin of oogenesis. It is usually defined as the process of creating mature sperm cells. It continues throughout a lifetime, taking place in the male gonad.
It’s hard to overestimate the function of testosterone in maintaining spermatogenesis and, therefore, male fertility. What is the role of testosterone in spermatogenesis? If there is no stimulation of this androgene, spermatogenesis will remain on the meiosis stage.
How can we define meiosis? Simply put, it’s the process divided into 8 stages that has just one goal: the making of sex cells. Due to this biological mechanism of division, daughter cells are developed with exactly half as many chromosomes as the original mother cell.
Testosterone does virtually everything that distinguishes a man from a woman, contributing to the health of the reproductive system, muscular system, the brain, and even red blood cells. At the age of 20-30, testosterone deficiency is rare.
Closer to twenty years of age, the levels of testosterone make it to their peak values, and from the age of 30 they gradually, depending on the person, start to decline.
What about the erectile function? Testosterone is produced in the testes, and many people logically assume that this male hormone is created by nature only for the sake of erection. In fact, it’s far from the truth. Surprisingly, erectile function can be absolutely fine even when testosterone levels are low, but sex drive is likely to be reduced.
The erectile dysfunction of about 90%-95% of men from this age range can be explained by psychogenic issues. After all, erectile function is very complex and consists of multiple components. Fears, insecurities, high stress levels, personality disorders, and relationships between partners matter much when it comes to this problem. A real testosterone deficiency begins to reveal itself at the age of 50 plus.
The factors affecting spermatogenesis
However, there are some nuances. If a person has a cold with fever, the process of spermatogenesis will be temporarily suppressed. From the perspective of Mother Nature, a sick male isn’t supposed to fertilize females. Also, if a man suffers from insomnia and is under a heavy stress load, he is very likely to have love testosterone even at a young age. That’s why the doctors shouldn’t trust the results of a single test when there are other health issues. Until they are cured, evaluating the reproduction system will be inaccurate and unrepresentative. Testosterone levels should be checked regularly over time to make the right treatment decision.
Other factors that might affect the process of spermatogenesis:
- Environmental toxicants
- Oxidative stress
- Heat exposure
- Smoking, alcohol, and drugs
- Undescended testicles
Which cells produce androgens such as testosterone?
These cells are known as Leydig cells.
Leydig cells are a type of interstitial cells that are in charge of the synthesis of testicular hormones or androgens (first and foremost androstenedione and testosterone). They develop in the testes of almost mammals when they undergo the fetal and pubertal growth phases. Fetal Leydig cells are created in the interstitium of the testis soon after the sex of the fetus is determined.
Which hormone stimulates Leydig cells to secrete testosterone?
The hormone that enables the secretion of testosterone via connecting to the receptors of Leydig cells is called luteinizing hormone (otherwise known as LH or lutropin). It is produced by gonadotropic cells that are scattered in the anterior pituitary gland. This hormone starts affecting Leydig cells with the start of puberty.
The level of Luteinizing hormone is of great importance for the entire reproductive system as it participates in many bodily processes. Normal LH levels range from 1.8 to 8.6 IU/L (international units per liter) in men who are at least 18 years old.
If you are infertile, something might be wrong with the production of LH. In such cases, a specific luteinizing hormone blood test is needed to measure LH levels.
Increased levels of LH might be the symptom of damaged testicles due to:
- Exposure to radiation
- Excessive alcohol use
If LH levels are low, it might mean that a pituitary gland isn’t producing the sufficient amount of LH, which results in low testosterone. Its typical symptoms are the following:
- decreased libido
- erectile dysfunction
- reduced beard growth
- severe fatigue
- muscle atrophy
- weight gain
To be in control of your reproductive health, you need to know your LH levels. In case you suspect issues with this hormone, you are recommended to consult a qualified endocrinologist.
Which hormone suppresses spermatogenesis without affecting testosterone secretion?
Inhibin is a glycoprotein hormone that helps regulate spermatogenesis and can suppress this intricate process without affecting the secretion of testosterone. Inhibin is secreted from the Sertoli cells that are located in the seminiferous tubules right inside the testicles.
There is still so much to be learned about the sophisticated process of spermatogenesis! One thing is certain: normal testosterone levels are vital for the male reproductive system. If there is a confirmed testosterone deficiency, you should consult your doctor and start the treatment. As long as you get regular testosterone injections or cream applications, the crisis of masculinity can be postponed.
When used according to the doctor’s instructions, testosterone medications can make a world of difference for people with the deficiency of this hormone. As a rule, patients start to notice the effects in a matter of 2-3 weeks. It doesn’t make any sense to suffer from the symptoms of low testosterone and put off the visit to your doctor.
Testosterone medications in the form of injections and topicals are available for purchase on our website. We provide fair prices and 100% quality at all times.