Empirical medical therapy in idiopathic male infertility: Promise or panacea?

Jae Hung Jung, Ju Tae Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Male factors account for 20%-50% of cases of infertility and in 25% of cases, the etiology of male infertility is unknown. Effective treatments are well-established for hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, male accessory gland infection, retrograde ejaculation, and positive antisperm antibody. However, the appropriate treatment for idiopathic male infertility is unclear. Empirical medical treatment (EMT) has been used in men with idiopathic infertility and can be divided into two categories based on the mode of action: hormonal treatment and antioxidant supplementation. Hormonal medications consist of gonadotropins, androgens, estrogen receptor blockers, and aromatase inhibitors. Antioxidants such as vitamins, zinc, and carnitines have also been widely used to reduce oxidative stress-induced spermatozoa damage. Although scientifically acceptable evidence of EMT is limited because of the lack of large, randomized, controlled studies, recent systematic reviews with metaanalyses have shown that the administration of gonadotropins, anti-estrogens, and oral antioxidants results in a significant increase in the live birth rate compared with control treatments. Therefore, all physicians who treat infertility should bear in mind that EMT can improve semen parameters and subsequent fertility potential through natural intercourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Reproductive Medicine
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine

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