We know that like men, women need androgen hormones such as testosterone. While women produce much less testosterone than men, testosterone is necessary for a woman’s libido, cervical mucus production and energy. One study has found that healthy levels of androgens within the uterus impact uterine lining health and the chances of healthy implantation of an embryo in early pregnancy.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh monitored womb tissue donated by women undergoing gynecological surgery. Surprisingly, they found that androgens, which are male hormones like testosterone, in the womb work with other hormones to help prepare the endometrial lining for conception.
While the research is not definitive, this study could in part explain why older women, who have lower androgen levels, find it more difficult to conceive. It may also help explain why seemingly healthy, fertilized eggs do not always implant successfully during IVF treatments.
The complex interplay of hormone activity, signals, and endometrial tissue at conception is hard to understand, much less influence. Imbalanced hormones and low androgen levels affect more women than you may suspect.
Low testosterone: If your testosterone is low, natural therapies are a safe choice to help you rebalance. A few keys to balanced testosterone levels for women wanting to conceive:
- avoid low-fat diets
- consider Zinc supplements
- get regular exercise
High testosterone: If you have high testosterone levels (a common issue for women with PCOS), it can also affect your fertility. High testosterone levels affect the menstrual cycle and normal ovulation. It’s important to cut out or strictly limit refined sugars and carbohydrates, which perpetuates the cycle of stress and excess androgen production.
Herbs like Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) encourage normal androgen production in women, too. Note: A complete Fertility Program is often necessary to overcome long term fertility challenges caused by PCOS.
Promoting Healthy Circulation
In addition to healthy hormonal balance, the uterus and endometrial lining need healthy circulation for conception. A very sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor circulation to the womb, a fertility block for women trying to conceive. Anatomical issues and reproductive blockages like fibroids or endometriosis may also disrupt your conception efforts.
Every month, a healthy woman’s endometrial lining renews and prepares itself for conception. It requires a very delicate balance between hormone levels, endometrial tissue, and the fertilized egg for successful implantation and pregnancy. Educating yourself about your unique hormone balance can help you be better prepared for challenges you could face on the road to pregnancy.
While no one study or hormone test can show the full scope of a complex fertility issue, the more you know, the more you can take measures to safeguard your fertility and health. Knowledge is power on your fertility journey!
An important reminder: don’t underestimate the role of stress in hormone balance. Take positive steps to reduce the stress in your life. This will not only help you feel better, it will also allow your hormones to come back into their natural balance more easily.
- Barton-Schuster, D. (2017). Improving Uterine Health for Fertility. Conception and Implantation. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/uterine-health-for-fertility.html
- University of Edinburgh. (2016, January 28). “Hormone study pinpoints why early pregnancies sometimes fail.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/305742.php
- Gibson, D. A., Simitsidellis, I., Cousins, F. L., Critchley, H. O. D., & Saunders, P. T. K. (2016). Intracrine Androgens Enhance Decidualization and Modulate Expression of Human Endometrial Receptivity Genes. Scientific Reports, 6, 19970. doi: 10.1038/srep19970. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep19970