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YOUR HEALTH: A nasal spray that could help boost men’s fertility

A nasal spray could offer a new option for men facing low testosterone and fertility problems.

MIAMI, Florida – Robert knew something wasn't right after feeling sluggish for almost two years.

"Not really having the energy or the desire to work out or just work through the entire day."

A blood test revealed he had low testosterone, a common condition on the rise in younger men.

"At least one in three men between the ages of 32 to 50 appear to have low testosterone," said reproductive urologist Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy of the University of Miami Health System.

Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy says factors such as stress, obesity and poor sleep habits may be to blame.

Symptoms include low energy, fatigue, improper sleep, weight gain, erectile dysfunction or lack of libido.

He says testosterone therapies like injections and gels have one major side effect.

"All of these treatments will actually block hormones from the pituitary gland."

Now a treatment called Natesto, applied through the nose, is offering younger patients another option.

"Because this is used two to three times a day and it's short acting," explained Dr.  Ramasamy.

"It still preserves your hormones from the pituitary gland and therefore maintains your sperm production."

"Just like many other medications that we've put through the nose, like medications that are used for allergies, they go through the nose and are absorbed systemically. It's the same concept. It's absorbed through the blood supply from the nose and men who have been on the drugs so far have very good testosterone levels."  -Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy

He says so far, patients enrolled in the University of Miami study have preserved their fertility and feel great.

"They are able to lose weight, get back to the gym, obviously their sex life has improved."

Robert says taking Natesto has made a big difference.

"I have the energy, I have the desire to be active and to do things."

Natesto was FDA approved in 2012 but is being studied as a treatment option for men who want to preserve their fertility.

Side effects of testosterone therapy include the risk of blood clots and breast enlargement.

Natesto is covered by most insurance companies, otherwise it costs about $200 a month.

If this has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.