University Of Miami Doctor Finds Connection Between Testosterone Therapy & Infertility In Men
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There's a new warning about testosterone therapy and how it could affect couples wanting to start a family and a South Florida couple is talking about their ordeal in the hopes no other couple has to wait as long as they did for their miracle.
"Hey beautiful how are you? Daddy's here."
It's the end of a long work day for Julio Vasquez of Miami. He's a new dad to a three-month old son.
Vasquez describes this as his favorite part of the day when he can come home to his son and wife.
For this young couple, this is a dream come true. They say they did everything right by getting married, they got established in their careers and purchased a home but when it came time to starting a family, things got really frustrating.
"I think it was like 5 years total that we tried getting pregnant. I thought that it was probably me, like most women do," says Elba Vasquez.
After several tests, Elba's doctor told her everything was fine and to just keep then trying but then the doctor recommended Julio get tested as well. And that's when the mystery centered on Julio.
Julio says that during this time he was also dealing with low energy, he describes he always felt fatigued.
He says the doctor prescribed him testosterone therapy and this was taking place while trying to conceive with his wife.
Vasquez said it was Doctor Ranjith Ramasamy who made the connection.
"Testosterone therapy which is the standard of care for treating men with low testosterone has lots of benefits. It can improve energy it can improve mood, it can improve sex drive and it can improve erectile dysfunction. However, it has a huge side effect because it causes infertility," said Dr. Ramasamy.
Dr. Ramasamy is the Director of reproductive urology at the University of Miami Health System.
He is currently leading a study that focuses on rebuilding fertility in men. The doctors believes testosterone therapy is beneficial for men, but his research also shows in most cases the therapy leads to infertility.
"In severe cases where men have very low testosterone levels then you could still have infertility, but the most common cause of infertility in men because of testosterone issues, is because men have been prescribed testosterone therapy," said Dr. Ramasamy.
He also believes that doctors tend to over prescribe testosterone therapy, especially here in South Florida.
"Men often are looking for easy solutions, and so sometimes they end up in wrong places with wrong treatments and are paying for treatments that sometimes are unnecessary," said Dr. Ramasamy.
Meantime, Julio admits that he's sharing his story because it's often a taboo subject among men in the Hispanic community that don't believe infertility could affect them even though research shows it very well could.
"I would like to help as many people as possible, as many males as possible. That they are not exempt from infertility, and if they do know that they have infertility issues and think that there is no help, that there is help out there," said Vasquez.
For couple's like the Vasquez', this new information has been the key to what they call a miracle.
"If this is something that you really want, not to, like don't stop looking for an answer, because at the end of the day, anything is possible," he said.
"It's definitely something people should know more about. There'd be more little miracles like our son around," said Elba Vasquez.
Dr. Ramasamy is looking for men to join his clinical trial at the University of Miami.
You can contact him and his team at the University of Miami Health System Urology at 305-243-6090 or email him at Ramasamy@miami.edu
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