cushing syndrome

How Does Cushing’s Syndrome Affect the Reproductive System?

Is Cushing’s disease or syndrome causing fertility issues? You can speak to one of our fertility doctors at MCRM Fertility for a professional evaluation. We can help you determine the best way to reverse the effects of excess cortisol on your reproductive health. 

Cushing’s syndrome has many symptoms, including irregular menses in women and low libido in men. The condition can also result in other health issues if not treated early enough. Here’s a look at how Cushing’s syndrome affects reproductive health:

What is Cushing’s Syndrome?

Cushing’s syndrome results from abnormal levels of the hormone cortisol in the body. The adrenal glands produce cortisol hormone to help your body and brain cope with stressful situations. Normal amounts of cortisol are also vital for maintaining blood pressure and heart function and converting food to energy. 

Other functions of cortisol include controlling the immune system, raising blood sugar levels and supporting bone formation. The body can make excessive cortisol due to high levels of stress. You may also receive cortisol from external sources like medication. Excessive levels of cortisol can result in Cushing’s syndrome, which manifests in various symptoms. 

Common signs of Cushing’s syndrome include weight gain, fatty deposits, moon-shaped/ round face, menstrual irregularities, and pink/purple stretch marks on the skin. Cushing’s syndrome also causes skin bruises, slow-healing injuries, excessive hair growth, fatigue, loss of concentration, weak muscles, stress and depression.

How Cushing’s Syndrome Affects Reproductive Health

High levels of cortisol can affect the reproductive system of men and women. In women, Cushing’s syndrome can disrupt the ovaries and impact the menstruation cycle. Some women develop amenorrhea, a condition in which menstruation completely stops. Menstrual irregularities and amenorrhea can occur when the high levels of adrenal gland hormones suppress pituitary hormones (LH and FSH).

LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) are vital in stimulating follicular growth and ovulation. Suppression of these pituitary hormones will affect normal reproductive functions. Irregular periods, high levels of stress and other symptoms can make it difficult for women to conceive. Cushing’s syndrome can also affect men’s reproductive health – erectile dysfunction and a decrease in libido are common side effects. 

The high levels of adrenal steroids like cortisol can suppress the testes’ ability to produce enough testosterone. Men with Cushing’s syndrome may also have low sperm mortality and other infertility issues. Reproductive health issues are some of the early signs of Cushing’s syndrome in women and men. Other symptoms of excess cortisol, such as muscle weakness, stress and depression, may also compound the problem.  

Work With a Trustworthy Fertility Doctor

Many patients struggling with fertility due to Cushing’s can fully recover and regain healthy reproductive functions; however, they need a reputable fertility clinic like MCRM Fertility to help them get there. Working with a fertility doctor is a great decision for patients with Cushing’s syndrome who are interested in conceiving.

Our goal is to complete a comprehensive evaluation and devise custom treatment plans. We are passionate about and committed to providing quality fertility treatmens. MCRM Fertility also offers emotional support, encouragement, and personalized approaches.