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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 45173
Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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Can taking saw palmetto cause low sperm count and can it also cause yo

Customer Question

Dr. David,
Can taking saw palmetto cause low sperm count and can it also cause your bones to become weak.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 years ago.
Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

saw palmetto is a mild plant estrogen sold as an over the counter herb to possibly help with symptoms of enlarged prostate or difficulty with urination

Dr. David :

it most likely is not potent enough to cause low sperm count or cause osteoporosis or weak bones in men with normal testosterone levels.

Customer:

I have a low sperm count 2 million per ml and I have been taking saw palmetto for many years and thought this may be a contributing factor

Dr. David :

the chances are small

Dr. David :

but you need more testing to check your testosterone level

Dr. David :

and your LH and FSH levels to see if they are normal.

Dr. David :

have you had these levels checked?

Customer:

What are LH AND FSH levels

Dr. David :

LH is leutinizing hormone and is the hormone from your pituitary gland that tells your testicles to make testosterone.

Dr. David :

FSH is follicle stimulating hormone and is the hormone from your pituitary gland which tells your testicles to make sperm.

Customer:

I am due to have a ultrasound on my testicles and another semen analysis

Customer:

I have testicular microlithiasis could this be a factor for a low sperm count

Dr. David :

yes, that could cause low sperm count

Dr. David :

you should stop taking saw palmetto.

Dr. David :

really no need for you to take that.

Customer:

i am going to stop the only reason i started taking it was because i had a inflamed prostate and thought it would help

Dr. David :

no, that would not help an inflamed prostate.

Dr. David :

usually antibiotics are what is needed for prostatitis inflammation.

Dr. David :

ask your doctor also for blood testing to check your testosterone level and FSH and LH levels as well

Dr. David :

good luck to you

Dr. David :

also don't smoke

Customer:

So i took saw palmetto for no reason

Dr. David :

smoking can cause low sperm counts.

Customer:

I researched it

Dr. David :

I don't think it helped calm down the prostate.

Customer:

and thought it was good for your prostate

Customer:

would taking saw palmetto interfere with my testosterone levels

Customer:

testicular microlithiasisis is this dangerous

Customer:

are my risks of testicular cancer raised because of testicular microlithiasis

Customer:

because i have been taking saw palmetto for many years have I damaged my health in any way

Customer:

and damaged my testosterone levels/fertility

Dr. David :

no, there would be no permanent damage.

Dr. David :

once you stop, your levels should be fine.

Dr. David :

it is really a mild plant estrogen

Dr. David :

its long term use hasn't really been well studied.

Dr. David :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10079411

Dr. David :

here is one study which showed that saw palmetto could affect sperm motility.

Customer:

what about my bone density

Dr. David :

your bone density should be fine.

Dr. David :

if you get your bone density checked, I bet it is fine.

Dr. David :

you should continue to drink calcium and eat vitamin D and exercise

Dr. David :

these are the best things for your bones.

Customer:

because my bones do click on a daily basis

Dr. David :

clicking bones is a not a sign of weak bones.

Customer:

could saw palmetto weaken your bones?

Dr. David :

no, it wouldn't weaken your bones.

Customer:

testicular microlithiasisis is this dangerous

Dr. David :

no, these are just small stones in your testicle.

Dr. David :

this is not dangerous.

Customer:

testicular cancer risk?

Customer:

is there a link

Dr. David :

In studies of healthy men there is, however, no association between TM and development of cancer

Dr. David :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25293560

Customer:

so there is no link

Dr. David :

no link.

Customer:

Have i got a increased risk of testicular cancer because i have testicular microlithiasisis

Dr. David :

no.

Customer:

I dont understand why i have a low sperm count

Customer:

i thought becuase i have been taking saw palmetto and becuase i got testicular microlithiasisis

Customer:

this may be why

Dr. David :

you need to get your blood levels checked

Dr. David :

to check testosterone and FSH and LH before we can find out why your sperm count is low

Dr. David :

and you need to get that testicular ultrasound as well.

Customer:

I had a blood test last time i was at the hospital

Customer:

will this show my testosterone and FSH and LH

Dr. David :

these are specific blood tests.

Dr. David :

that have to be ordered by your doctor

Dr. David :

not all blood test will contain these results.

Customer:

Ok. He did order these blood tests when i went to see him and it was about my sperm count

Customer:

Do you think he would of included testosterone and FSH and LH

Customer:

in the blood tests

Dr. David :

I hope he included these in your blood test.

Dr. David :

talk to your doctor about it.

Dr. David :

I can't read your doctor's mind about what test he ordered.

Dr. David :

good luck to you

Dr. David :

let me know if you have other questions.

Dr. David :

if done for now, please leave positive feedback below the chat box

Dr. David :

thanks for using JustAnswer.com

Customer:

Ok

Customer:

But do you think taking saw palmetto has caused any of this

Dr. David :

no

Customer:

So taking saw palmetto has not really done anything for me

Customer:

what are the benefits of taking saw palmetto

Customer:

So taking saw palmetto has not really done anything for me

Dr. David :

when you are in your 50s and 60s and you have benign prostate enlargement, some men use it as a natural plant estrogen which could help decrease the size of their enlarged prostate gland.

Customer:

So i didnt really need to take it

Dr. David :

no, you don't need to take it.

Customer:

I have been taking for about 4 to 5 years

Dr. David :

so you can stop taking it.

Customer:

what do you think i have done to my body

Dr. David :

you haven't done anything.

Dr. David :

it is fine.

Customer:

how long will it take to get out my system

Dr. David :

once you stop, it goes out of your system quickly.

Customer:

So taking saw palmetto has not damaged my health in any way?

Dr. David :

no

Customer:

do you think i have a chance of having children

Dr. David :

yes, of course.

Customer:

but have i not got a very low sperm count 2 million per ml

Dr. David :

you can still have children with those levels.

Customer:

naturally?

Dr. David :

yes, very possibly naturally.

Customer:

have i caused any temporary damage by taking saw palmetto

Dr. David :

you have asked this already.

Dr. David :

I said no.

Dr. David :

you seem to keep asking the same questions.

Customer:

sorry

Customer:

just anxious

Dr. David :

yes, I can tell.

Customer:

So taking saw palmetto has not damaged my health in any way?

Customer:

Dr. David

Customer:

i just want to confirm

Dr. David :

no, it would not damage your health in any way.

Customer:

taking saw palmetto would it have made my bones weak

Dr. David :

I have answered this for you already.

Customer:

can you confirm for me again please

Dr. David :

you need to quit smoking.

Dr. David :

saw palmetto would not cause weak bones.

Customer:

I have quit smoking Dr. David

Dr. David :

good.

Customer:

thank you for your help

Dr. David :

please leave positive feedback below

Dr. David :

we only get credit for helping clients after positive feedbavck

Dr. David :

thanks for using JustAnswer.com

Customer:

Dr. David

Customer:

You said once you stop, your levels should be fine

Customer:

does this mean that taking saw palmetto did interfere with my levels

Customer:

testosterone levels/fertility

Customer:

Dr. David

Dr. David :

most likely the saw palmetto has not interfered with your testosterone level.

Customer:

Ok thanks

Customer:

what about fertility

Dr. David :

only time can tell about your fertility.

Dr. David :

you don't need to be stressing about your fertility until you are ready to have children.

Dr. David :

and it doesn't sound like you are ready to have children at this point.

Customer:

but would you say saw palmetto has interfered with my fertility

Customer:

and if my sperm count was low now wouldn't it decline over time

Dr. David :

no, it may not decline over time.

Dr. David :

you can get healthy and exercise and eat healthy and your sperm counts can improve

Dr. David :

I have said already you need blood testing.

Dr. David :

most likely the saw palmetto has not interfered with your fertility and sperm count.

Customer:

Ok Dr. David

Customer:

Thanks

Dr. David :

you are welcome

Dr. David :

don't forget to leave positive feedback below

Dr. David :

thanks for using JustAnswer.com

Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 45173
Experience: Board Certified Physician
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