Thyroid, spermatogenesis, and male infertility

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011 Jun 1;3:843-55. doi: 10.2741/e292.


Since the identification of thyroid hormone receptors on the testes, thyroid has been suggested to have a significant impact on the male reproductive tract, spermatogenesis, and male fertility. Several research articles on the role of thyroid in spermatogenesis or male infertility have been published in the last three decades. We conducted an exhaustive literature search was conducted in order to create an up-to-date review of literature. This review aims to discuss the impact of thyroid on testicular development, spermatogenesis, hypo- or hyper- thyroidism and male infertility, and the management of thyroid related abnormal semen profile. The literature revealed that thyroid significantly impacts testicular development and that abnormal thyroid profile affects semen quality and male fertility by compromising testicular size, sperm motility and ejaculate volume. A clear link exists between thyroid hormones, testicular development and spermatogenesis. Thyroid disease negatively affects spermatogenesis and consequently may cause male infertility. In such cases, infertility is reversible, but more studies need to be conducted, especially in post-pubertal males to cement the current findings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Thyroid Gland / physiology*
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology
  • Thyroid Hormones / physiology


  • Thyroid Hormones