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Nov 5, 2015 — by Larry Lipshultz

An illustration of a pencil eraser erasing pictures of spermDr. Larry Lipshultz is a pioneer in the treatment of men’s health issues and in male infertility in particular. At a time when infertility was still widely misperceived as a predominantly female issue, Dr. Lipshultz was making tremendous contributions to the science of diagnosing and treating male fertility problems. He remains at the forefront of the field, with both patients and his peers considering him one of the leading experts on male fertility issues in the United States.

Two of the leading contributors to male infertility that Dr. Lipshultz helped to increase our understanding of are low levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are essential to reproduction in both men and women, and low levels in either partner can contribute to infertility. Dr. Lipshultz can diagnose male infertility by detecting low LH and FSH at his Houston, TX urology practice. While low levels of these hormones may not be the sole causes of infertility, they can be important parts of the infertility puzzle, and their treatment can dramatically improve the chances of successful pregnancy.

What are LH and FSH?

LH is a hormone that is produced in the pituitary gland of both men and women. In women, LH stimulates the ovarian follicle, which in turn leads to the growth of an egg and the production of estrogen. In men, LH binds with the Leydig cells in the testes to promote the release of testosterone, which is necessary to the production of sperm cells.

Like LH, FSH is a hormone that is produced in the pituitary gland of both men and women. In women, FSH basically regulates the production of estrogen and progesterone and is essential to the overall regulation of the menstrual cycle. In men, FSH is crucial to the development of the testicles and to the production of sperm.

How do low LH and FSH affect male fertility?

Both LH and FSH are vital to the proper production of sperm. Low levels of these hormones can be at least partly responsible for low sperm counts, which is the biggest cause of infertility in men.

Normally, diagnosis would begin with a semen analysis. If there are less than 15 million sperm per millimeter of semen, a man is diagnosed with low sperm count. Dr. Lipshultz might then order tests to determine LH and FSH levels. Aside from influencing sperm count, low LH and FSH levels can be symptoms of other problems, such as hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone.

Accurate diagnosis of the underlying causes of male infertility is essential to prescribing the most effective treatment possible. Non-surgical therapies have proven highly successful in treating low levels of LH and FSH in men.

Learn More about Male Infertility and Low LH and FSH Levels

If you would like to learn more about the connection between male infertility and low levels of LH and FSH, we encourage you to contact Larry Lipshultz, M.D., at Baylor College of Medicine Scott Department of Urology today.