Don’t ignore this post just because your husband’s TSH (or your TSH) came back within the normal range. Seriously. Keep reading.
Up until the early 90s researchers and doctors thought that the thyroid only affected female fertility. But a breakthrough study discovered that there are thyroid hormone receptors on the Sertoli Cells in the testes. Why is this important? The Sertoli Cells nourish sperm cells through the process of spermatogenesis. Here’s the best study I’ve found about the thyroid and sperm.
Mr. E’s TSH was drawn with the original labs right after his first semen analysis results came back with 0 sperm. The TSH came back normal at 1.62. After a burst of inspiration led me down the path of looking deeper into Mr. E’s thyroid, we did a more thorough thyroid panel including:
– Free T3
– Free T4
– Total T3
– Total T4
– Reverse T3
– TgAb (thyroglobulin antibodies)
– TPOab (thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
Guess what? Mr. E’s TgAb came back high. That means he has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. His body is attacking his thyroid. The damage that Hashimoto’s causes makes your body fluctuate between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid, both of which are bad for spermatogenesis.
I recommend that you and your husband get the bloodwork listed above done as soon as possible. Then, use the guide from Stop the Thyroid Madness to determine if your results are optimal. Not normal, but optimal.
And don’t let your doctor try to tell you that normal results mean that you’re fine. Being infertile is a huge symptom of thyroid problems! I highly, highly recommend that you devour everything on Stop the Thyroid Madness and even get the book.
As far as treating the Hashimoto’s, Mr. E started taking 1 grain of Armour Thyroid four weeks ago. 1 week ago we added Selenium to his supplement regimen.
I read about using Selenium to help decrease the antibodies on the STTM site. Then when researching selenium further, I found out that selenium is also vital to spermatogenesis. Hopefully the extra selenium will both assist in lowering the antibodies which will stop the damage to his thyroid and help with spermatogenesis.
Is the thyroid the reason Mr. E is azoospermic? Probably not. But we believe it is a key to the puzzle. Our goal with all of this is to increase our chances of success when we go in for the mTESE.
This story is a great example of why you should never give up! Read, research, and read some more. Keep looking for answers!