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Approaching Male Fertility and Testosterone Optimization

The anti-aging industry is booming. Women and men alike seek treatments to optimize the aging process and maintain their youthful energy and glow. For many, this includes individualized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) programs. With the average age of first time parents increasing and the anti-aging industry booming, conception support and hormone optimization plans may overlap more frequently than in years past. When we consider optimizing female hormones, progesterone is often one of the first addressed and, when dosed appropriately, is beneficial to conception goals and pregnancy maintenance. When we consider optimizing male hormone levels, while not the only hormone to address, testosterone is typically the first to come to mind. Endogenous testosterone is required for spermatogenesis, however exogenous testosterone can suppress intratesticular testosterone production, which may lead to azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia and thus, infertility. Additionally, elevated estrogen levels in men may be linked to low sperm fertility, potency and viability. What does this mean to the practitioner offering BHRT? Just as a woman’s conception goals are taken into account when optimizing hormone levels and developing her individualized BHRT plan, a man’s conception goals must be taken into account when developing his individualized BHRT plan.

According to recent research, male hypogonadism caused by intrinsic pathology of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (HPT axis), as opposed to late onset hypogonadism due to functional suppression of the HPT axis form age-related comorbidities, is an under-diagnosed condition - and one not to be missed. After a thorough diagnostic workup, this condition is typically treated with testosterone replacement therapy; however, when fertility is desired this approach may be contraindicated. What is the best approach in these situations? The answer will be dependent on the individual but may include:

  • Life style measures including strength training and a whole foods diet with decreased consumption of alcohol and decreased use of recreational drugs and nicotine
  • Weight management
  • Use of aromatase inhibitors such as chrysin, luteolin, resveratrol and/or zinc to decrease aromatase activity and conversion of testosterone to estradiol – simultaneously affecting two potential negatives in male fertility
  • Use of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as progesterone and/or saw palmetto to decrease 5-alpha reductase activity and conversion of testosterone to DHT
  • Supplementation with stinging nettle root to assist in modulation of sex hormone binding globulin to increase free testosterone levels

While a man’s approach to preparing for becoming a father may include maximizing healthy hormone output, his treatment plan should account for his conception goals. Labrix’ salivary hormone panels offer an accurate and convenient means to assess male hormones, including testosterone and estradiol. If you are interested in optimizing men’s hormone levels and acquiring the clinical expertise to help more patients in your practice, join Labrix co-founders and staff physicians for Labrix Core Training, Saturday August 2nd in Portland OR. Topics include Comprehensive Hormone Health for Men and Women, as well as Treatment of Adrenal Dysfunction and a Neurotransmitter Primer, among many others.
Register today at


  • Moss JL1, Crosnoe LE, Kim ED. Effect of rejuvenation hormones on spermatogenesis. Fertil Steril. 2013 Jun;99(7):1814-20
  • Chan I1, Fui MN, Zajac JD, Grossmann M. Assessment and management of male androgen disorders: an update. Aust Fam Physician. 2014 May;43(5):277-82.
  • Gill-Sharma MK, Dsouza S, Padwal V, Balasinor N, Aleem M, Parte P, Juneja HS. Antifertility effects of estradiol in adult male rats. J Endocrinol Invest. 2001 Sep;24(8):598-607.


Labrix West Coast Core Training has been approved for 6 hours of general CE credit (Oregon) for Naturopathic Physicians.

Labrix Founder and Medical Director Dr. Jay Mead, CEO and Associate Medical Director Dr. Erin Lommen, and Staff Physicians Dr. Robyn Kutka, Dr. Lylen Ferris, and Dr. Sara Wood present the fundamentals of hormone balancing, broken down into simple core concepts and related in a single day of engaging presentations and discussions. This event is designed for the provider who is new to the field of hormone balancing or is looking to brush up on the basics.

Join us for this 8-hour training and leave with the tools and knowledge necessary to:

  • Identify patients who would benefit from hormone balancing
  • Understand the roles of major sex and adrenal hormones in men and women
  • Appreciate the relationships between the various hormones and the entire endocrine system
  • Recognize the role that sex and adrenal hormones play in several prominent disease processes
  • Treat hormone imbalances with nutritional supplements, botanical medicines and BHRT
  • Learn to incorporate neurotransmitter (NT) evaluation and treatment into your practice

This event will be held on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower.

Labrix has secured a room block at the rate of $179/night. Click here to reserve your room.

If you are serious about adding this powerful tool into your practice, register to attend and secure your seat.

Registration is $150 and following successful completion of the course, you will receive a $100 credit on your testing account. Register anyone else in your practice (with a clinical degree) and you'll automatically receive $25 off their registration.

Sign Up Now For This CE Approved Live Webinar Event

Labrix is proud to sponsor the upcoming live webinar on Friday, July 18th from 7:30-8:30am PST:
“Progesterone- A Powerful Hormone for Women and Men.” Dr. Gina Nick Cushman, NMD, PhD will present the webinar via and will discuss utilizing an integrative approach to hormone balance and the prevention and treatment of many of the diseases of aging with the use of bioidentical progesterone.

Dr. Gina Nick Cushman, NMD, PhD

Dr. Gina Nick Cushman, NMD, PhD is a California and Hawaii licensed practicing physician who has treated thousands of patients using BHRT, and trained healthcare professionals worldwide on this emerging treatment modality.

Click here to learn more about this webinar presentation.
Sign Up Now For This Free, Live Webinar Event

Labrix' own Dr. Lylen Ferris is presenting a free, live webinar via Functional Medicine University, on Monday, August 25, at 5:00 pm PST. Dr. Ferris' webinar, "Moodiness, Madness, or Menopause?", will provide clinical answers for optimization of hormones, serotonin and other neurotransmitter imbalances.

Dr. Lylen Ferris, ND

Lylen Ferris is a licensed Naturopathic Physician living and practicing in Portland, OR. In addition to maintaining her private practice, Dr. Ferris works as a Staff Physician at Labrix Clinical Services where she has reviewed, interpreted and advised on tens of thousands of salivary hormone panels and neurotransmitter reports.

Prior to joining Labrix as a staff physician, she completed a residency in advanced women’s health and gynecology at the National College of Natural Medicine where she oversaw patient care and as well as taught gynecology and clinical education classes. Her extensive knowledge of women’s health and endocrinology coupled with her love of teaching have led her to develop curriculum and present at numerous integrative and alternative health conferences.

Click here to learn more about this webinar presentation.