I’ve posted a quick summary of a webinar I attended on women’s fertility that was put on by DiagnosTech a month ago. This month, the focus was on the guys!! While we tend to focus mostly on the woman’s health when it comes to fertility, the health of the man is also extremely important. After all, the woman can’t do it on her own, right?
In the research there is talk that as much as 30-50% of fertility problems can be attributed to the male.
That’s not to point fingers or try to place fault on either person. The fact is simply stated so that we understand that it takes the health of two to tango.
It’s important to note that normal spermatogenesis takes 3 months, so be patient if you are starting to implement lifestyle changes. Also, if you are considering doing a detox please consider contraceptive measures during the duration of the detox.
Here are the notes that I took from the webinar by DiagnosTechs presented by Dr. Brandy Webb, ND.
Hypogonadism = disruption in testicular function that results in low sperm production and/or low androgen production.
1. Primary hypogonadism: Low testosterone and sperm production + High FSH/LH
2. Secondary hypogonadism: Problem originates in the hypothalamus or pituitary + Low FSH/LH
What are some common causes of male infertility??
-Chemical/toxin exposure (alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, heavy metals, organophosphates), oxidative damage (overheating, inflammation), androgen deficiency, adrenal dysfunction, varicocele, obesity, erectile dysfunction, hyper/hypothyroidism, nutrient deficiencies, genetic diseases, structural abnormalities
*An interesting point she brought up was that “25% of men who suffer from infertility suffer from varicocele.”
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term varicocle, here is a definition from the Mayo clinic:
“A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles. A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in your leg.
*Remember how important stress is!!! Sperm count declines with stress.”
How does obesity play a role in infertility?
-Fat cells contain high amounts of an aromatase enzyme which converts testosterone to estradiol
-Estradiol provides feedback inhibition resulting in lower testosterone production
**It’s important to note that insulin resistance is associated with hypogonadism, but this can be independent of obesity – meaning the male does not have to be overweight to be insulin resistant.
What happens to circulating testosterone in the body?
-About 90% is excreted, 0.3% converts to estradiol, and 6-8% converts to Dihydrotestosterone.
**The 0.3% conversion to estradiol may be increased with advanced age, obesity, adrenal stress, high blood sugar levels, and genetics.
What kinds of screening tests are out there?
1. eMHP (expanded male hormone panel) checks for= androgen deficiency/excess, estrogen excess, FSH or LH abnormalities (to differentiate between primary and secondary hypogonadism). This is a test offered by DiagnosTech that I can run for my clients.
2. ASI (adrenal stress index) checks for = hypoadrenia or sympathetic dominance, blood sugar imbalance. This is another test offered by DiagnosTech that I can run for my clients.
3. Many, many more, but this webinar just covered these two
What are some things to look out for on the tests?
Primary hypogonadism = low androgens with high FSH/LH
Secondary hypogonadism = low androgens with low FSH/LH
High aromatization = high estrogen + possibly low testosterone
Adrenal dysfunction = low DHEA and androstenedione and often high or normal-high estrogen
What are some natural therapies for hypogonadism?
-Weight loss, detoxification protocols, avoiding smoking/alcohol/other drugs, avoid scrotal overheating (laptops on lap), acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, aromatase inhibitors (DIM, I3C, cruciferous vegetables), and nutritional therapy/botanical medicine
–Nutritional therapy and antioxidants: Zinc, B12, folate, selenium, L-carnititine, L-arginine, lycopene, ALA, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, CoQ10, glutathione, astaxanthin
–Botanical medicine: Tribulus, saw palmetto, Korean ginseng, astragalus, rosemary, green tea extract, medicinal mushrooms, turmeric, maca, pycnogenol
Dr. Webb provided her Liver Support Smoothie recipe:
1 large beet (unpeeled)
1-2 cups loosely chopped beet or dandelion greens
1 1/2 medium apples (unpeeled)
3 carrots (unpeeled)
1-inch piece ginger (peeled and grated)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp Chelidonium majus or Cynara scolymus tincture
Water to achieve desired consistency (1-2 cups)
*Optional: 1/2 banana, 1-2 dates (pitted), stevia/honey to taste
I hope this helps! I certainly got a lot out of it 🙂