How to Get Pregnant if Your Husband Has Low Testosterone

Last updated on Dec 27, 2017

by Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

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How to Get Pregnant if Your Husband Has Low Testosterone

Don't despair if your husband has low testosterone levels. You & he can still get pregnant! Find out all the ways how in this comprehensive guide.

What is Testosterone?

It is known that testosterone is the most significant male sex hormone, and it becomes active in the womb believe it or not. This is the time it causes a male fetus to grow testes and a penis, and during puberty testosterone changes boys into men. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

The brain as well as the pituitary gland control testosterone production by the testes, where the highest levels of the hormone are produced. Adrenal glands also produce testosterone, as this is the hormone which is responsible for male sexual characteristics. That includes the internal and external sex organs which is the prostate, penis, testes, seminal vesicle and so on.

Testosterone is also responsible for body hair growth on the face, chest and back, bone healthy, muscle mass, broad shoulders, a deeper voice and more aggressive behavior. Testosterone also plays a role in erectile function, libido and male fertility health because it is what determines sperm production.

What are normal levels?

Normal testosterone levels are anywhere between 300 and 1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl), and they fluctuate throughout the day. The highest levels are circulating in the morning which is due to the fact that sleep helps the body regenerate after a long day, unless a poor rest happened.

testosterone levels in men by age

          Testosterone levels can vary from man to man, and are also known to decrease after the age of 30 by 1 percent.

Low testosterone

However, there are many men who suffer from low testosterone and some may not be aware of that for a variety of reasons. However, in most cases, low testosterone levels can cause poor libido, impotence, and erectile dysfunction. Enlarged breasts in men and low sperm count and quality can also be a sign.

Some men also suffer from other symptoms of low testosterone such as mood swings, hot flashes, low energy, sleep disruptions, shrinking testes, reduced muscle mass and strength, as well as loss of body hair. It is hard to not notice a problem when these symptoms happen, and most men will consult their doctors if they all of a sudden have a drop in sex drive alone. If any of this describes your husband, he needs to definitely consult a doctor if you want to start trying to conceive.

          It is known that testosterone levels naturally drop as men age, which is known as andropause.

What causes low testerone?

However there are also other contributing factors to low testosterone levels. Some of these problems are injury or infection to testes, testicular cancer, being on cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation even from the past, some medications such as painkillers and steroids.

If there is a tumor on the hypothalamus or pituitary gland related to inflammation, this can be the culprit as well as autoimmune diseases. Even genetics can play a role.

causes of low testosterone in men

What can a doctor do?

Doctors will start to do blood work and determine the levels of testosterone and look into possible causes.

Depending on the contributing factors, the doctor may suggest further investigation with an endocrinologist. As a last resort, testosterone replacement therapy which consists of gel, patches placed on the skin, injections or pellets implanted under the skin may be offered.

However, most doctors are hesitant to offer men with low testosterone levels that kind of treatment because it comes with risks, and that includes a high risk of getting prostate cancer.

Other risks of testosterone treatment are sleep apnea, acne, edema which is the swelling of ankles, legs or feet, high red blood cell count, breast or prostate enlargement. And in fact, lowering fertility levels in men can be caused by this kind of treatment which will defeat the purpose.

          Therefore if your husband flat out tells his doctor that he wants to start trying for a baby, testosterone therapy will not be recommended.

However, the good news is that in some cases, low testosterone levels may be supported by a change in lifestyle. There are cases when testosterone levels cannot be brought up depending on the cause, but in some ways levels can be brought up naturally.

How Change in Diet Can Help

Even if there is damage to the testes, eating foods and consuming vitamins, minerals and herbs to improve testosterone levels and male fertility can still be helpful. In fact, diet is critical for male fertility health, as what a man eats before conception will not only have an impact on hormone levels and sperm health but the health and development of the embryo too.

          In fact the most important mineral that men need to take to improve sperm health and male fertility is zinc.

In fact, zinc deficiencies can certainly have a negative impact on testosterone levels which will affect hormone balance and sperm health. In fact oysters, walnuts, asparagus, garlic and broccoli are excellent sources of zinc which helps sperm production.

          You know what they say about oysters and male libido…

Ginseng is also great to help naturally improve testosterone levels and bananas are also great for libido. Oh and enjoy some dark chocolate too because that helps and it is rich in antioxidants.

Kick Bad Habits

If your man is eating too much fast food that is filled with trans fats which is harmful to anyone’s health, and eating too much simple carby foods such as white breads, potatoes, pastas, candy and potato chips, it is time for him to kick those habits. That is harmful to male fertility, testosterone levels and his overall health. The same goes for drinking booze, too much coffee, drugs and smoking cigarettes. One cup of coffee may be acceptable. The rest has to go.

Stress Management

Life is full of stress and there is no way to go around that. In fact when you are dealing with chronic stress, a stress hormone called cortisol will increase in the body which halts its main sex hormone gonadotropin releasing hormone, GnRH, which is responsible for sexual activity as well as sperm count (the same applies for women as it causes anovulation).

As mentioned previously, dealing with stress is unavoidable. The trick is to manage stress by taking up hobbies, listening to music, reading good books and magazines, yoga, meditation, or anything that is calming as it will reduce the risk of cortisol production getting out of hand.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

You are aware that both men and women have estrogen, but think about this. High estrogen levels in men will reduce testosterone levels and cause infertility, whereas the opposite is also true for women  who have polycystic ovarian syndrome which is the cause of irregular ovulation or anovulation.

healthy lifestyle and its positive effects to fertility

That being said, body fat produces and stores estrogen, and it slowly releases it into the bloodstream. Therefore, it is no wonder that men who have a higher ratio of body fat to lean muscle have higher estrogen levels, and lower testosterone levels.

The testes will not function properly with chronic low levels of testosterone because it will cause hormonal imbalance, sexual dysfunction and abnormal sperm. Abnormal sperm will more than likely not be able to fertilize the egg properly but if it does, it can cause a miscarriage or genetic defects in the developing embryo.

The best way to kill two birds with one stone is to lose weight by eating foods that are nutrient rich especially with zinc involved as well as getting ample exercise. However, you will want your husband to consult a dietician or nutritionist because you want to make sure he is getting a good balance in his diet.

Exercise is also very important as it not only supports weight loss, but it helps with detoxification, increases energy, improves mood, strength, helps with sleep, and improves muscle mass. Not to mention it can help with libido, bone and heart health. All of these will help improve male fertility.

Look into Male Fertility Herbs

Some herbs are great for men to take to help increase testosterone levels.

Maca root is one of them which helps increase libido by increasing the blood flow to the pelvic region, and also helps encourage healthy levels of testosterone.

Another great herb is the Tribulus, including the fruit and aerial parts because that increases luteinizing hormone in men, as well as testosterone levels. This one will certainly help sperm quality and count.

Saw Palmetto is another great one for men to improve their testosterone levels as it can also improve libido, energy and sperm health and count.

Yohimbine is a great herb as well as not only does it help sustain erections, and make it firmer, but it improves fertility as well due to helping to increase blood flow to get things in the body moving better as well. However, if your husband has blood pressure problems or is on blood pressure medication, it is not recommended.

Yohimbine herb to improve fertility

Allow you and your man to try to conceive for a year once he makes these changes, and make sure that you are charting your cycles. If a pregnancy still isn’t achieved by then, it is time to take the next step.

If All Else Fails, Fertility Treatments are Needed

Even though these tips will help any man improve his testosterone levels and fertility, it may not be enough to make conception happen naturally if the cause of the low testosterone levels are due to structural issues such as damage to testes.

If this is the case, then the sperm count and quality may improve a little by making positive lifestyle changes. However, you will have to undergo fertility treatments in order to conceive his baby.

IUI plus Clomid

Many couples that faced male infertility have had success through intrauterine insemination (IUI). The woman may have to go on Clomid to time ovulation, even if she doesn’t have fertility issues of her own. But of course, this may run the risk (or reward) of depositing more than one egg, which could result in getting pregnant with twins.

She will be carefully monitored through blood work and ultrasound to measure follicular development and egg maturation, which will lead to the time of ovulation, when the procedure must take place.

Right before a woman is about to ovulate, then it will be noted through monitoring and she will be told to stay behind, and to make sure her husband is around to give a sperm sample to be washed.

Sperm Washing

Sperm washing takes about an hour which will remove bacteria and dead sperm, and the good sperm will be kept in a solution.The only thing about washed sperm is that they die off quicker, so timing of ovulation has to be within 12 hours of the insemination in order for it to have a chance to work.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure and sperm washing

Once the sperm is ready, the woman is to lie down on the exam table or a bed, and the sperm will be put through a catheter which will be inserted directly into the uterus so the sperm is put closer to the egg.

Most fertility clinics do not usually do more than 6 IUI attempts, before moving onto a more intense procedure which moves to in vitro (IVF).


In this case, for low sperm counts, a procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) will be used where a single sperm is injected into the egg directly. Therefore, the egg and sperm interactions involved with normal fertilization are bypassed, as this technique works for severe male infertility or if more than 6 IUI attempts have failed previously.

If male infertility and testosterone levels cannot get any higher at all despite lifestyle changes, then IVF involving ICSI will be immediately recommended as IUI would not work with severe male infertility either.

Unfortunately, IVF is emotionally, financially and physically tough and plenty of support will be needed for couples who have to resort to that especially. Support is even needed for couples who are going through IUI which is far less invasive and quite inexpensive compared to IVF.

Bottom Line

A man that is facing low testosterone levels is going to have a difficult time keeping his self esteem high especially if he and his wife or girlfriend want to have a baby. This is why support is important all the way around for anyone involved while dealing with male infertility due to low testosterone levels, but there needs to be encouragement too because a positive outcome regardless of how it is done can most definitely be achieved in the end.

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How to Get Pregnant if Your Husband Has Low Testosterone, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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