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How Hormonal Imbalances Affect Fertility in Men and Women

infertility due to hormonal changes
Hormonal imbalances play a major role in both a woman’s and a man’s infertility. Proper hormone levels help to regulate the health and quality of the ovaries, eggs, and sperm.

Hormones are naturally produced chemicals that control the function of organs and the development and growth of the body. Originating in the endocrine system, these chemical messengers travel through the bloodstream to specific tissues and organs. An imbalance can affect the condition of the body, including fertility.

How Hormonal Imbalances Affect Fertility in Women


With a hormonal imbalance in women, low and high levels of estrogen are investigated as this hormone regulates the reproductive system. A low level of estrogen during various stages can impede follicle growth or suppress the levels of other related hormones to stimulate ovulation. Symptoms include sleep disturbances, low mood, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes.

High levels of estrogen can hinder the uterine blood flow and prevent implantation, causing infertility. Excessive estrogen can cause with fibroids, migraines, extreme anxiety, and difficult periods.


Regulated progesterone levels prepare the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to be able to accept a fertilized egg for proper growth. Low levels of the hormone can impair the lining from thickening to an acceptable level. Symptoms of low progesterone include irregular cycles and spotting.

Too much progesterone can also affect fertility by reducing the implantation rate. Symptoms are bloating, fatigue, constipation, low mood, brain fog, and breast tissue swelling. It should be noted that progesterone levels do increase during pregnancy.


A woman’s body requires the proper amount of testosterone to support the estrogen hormone in the development, repair, and maintenance of reproductive tissues, among other body functions. Low levels can impair the growth and function of the follicles.

Excessive testosterone levels can have an adverse effect on hormonal levels responsible for ovulation. This can be associated with extreme acne and facial hair growth.

Thyroid Hormones

Low and high levels of thyroid hormones can affect fertility in women. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can impair the ability to conceive by preventing the release of the egg or can impede the ability of carrying the fetus.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

One of the main thyroid hormones, known as luteinizing hormone (LH), is key in stimulating the development of steroid hormones within the ovaries. It plays a major role in the ovulation and implantation stages.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

As with LH, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) controls the functioning of the ovaries by stimulating egg growth. A high level of this hormone can result in a diminished ovarian reserve, in regard to the quality and quantity of viable eggs.

Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances in Women

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Mood swings
  • Bowel issues
  • Abdominal or back pain
  • Low sex drive
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Brittle bones
  • Skin rashes

How Hormonal Imbalances Affect Fertility in Men


While testosterone is known to control the sex drive in men, it also stimulates the production of sperm and the ability to produce erections. Low levels of this hormone prevent the needed quantity of sperm and can be associated with sexual dysfunction, fatigue, and low libido.

Higher levels of testosterone can also lead to low sperm count and in some cases, even no sperm production.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

In men, the FSH is responsible for sperm production in conjunction with LH in the testes. The Sertoli cells, which are essential for sperm, require FSH for proper function and maturation. Low levels can impede the amount and quality of the sperm produced.

FSH in high levels can have an adverse effect on the functioning of the testicles. This can be caused by damage due to alcoholism or medial therapy such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

LH works closely with FSH in the production of sperm. This hormone triggers testosterone production for proper quality and quantity of sperm. Low levels of LH impact the libido and eventually the fertility of a male.

High levels can damage to the testes and negatively affect the production of sperm.

Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances in Men

  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sperm count, motility, and morphology
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Thinning hair or hair loss
  • Weight gain or loss

Medical Treatment for Hormonal Imbalances for Fertility

A female fertility assessment will determine the appropriate treatments necessary for hormonal imbalances. Treatment options include prescribed medications to balance levels, stimulate release of a mature egg, and restore any issues within the thyroid. Assisted reproductive technology therapies may also be used in some cases.

Men with hormonal imbalances will also have a male fertility assessment to have an appropriate treatments for males. Options can involve topical creams and patches containing testosterone medication, or prescribed medications of metformin and levothyroxine.

Visit ONE Fertility Kitchener Waterloo for a Fertility Assessment

For comprehensive infertility counselling, contact ONE Fertility Kitchener Waterloo. As a modern fertility and IVF clinic, our team of specialists provide personalized treatment plans, care, counselling, and fertility services in Kitchener Waterloo.


4271 King St East, Suite 200
Kitchener, ON
N2P 2X7

Working Hours

Monday-Friday: 7am-3pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am-12pm

Contact Us

Phone: 519.650.0011
Fax: 519.650.0033