Effects of the selective estrogen receptor modulators for the treatment of male infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Background: Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) represent a poorly investigated class of drugs for the treatment of male infertility. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of SERMs on conventional sperm parameters, serum gonadotropin and testosterone levels, and pregnancy rate in patients with idiopathic infertility. Methods: The authors performed a comprehensive systematic review with meta-analysis of all available controlled and not-controlled studies of the literature reporting sperm conventional parameters, gonadotropin and testosterone levels, and/or the pregnancy rate following SERM administration in normogonadotropic patients with idiopathic oligozoospermia. Results: From the 418 papers retrieved, 16 controlled and not-controlled trials were lastly included. SERM administration increased significantly sperm concentration, total sperm count, and serum luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and total testosterone levels compared with baseline values. In contrast, SERMs did not have any significant effect on sperm concentration and progressive and total motility, but improved total sperm count, sperm morphology, and increased the pregnancy rate compared to the control group, which included studies done with placebo or other treatments. Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that SERMs may be effective in the treatment of infertile patients with idiopathic infertility. However, the paucity of data does not allow to draw a definitive conclusion.

Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy. 2019 May 23 [Epub ahead of print]

Rossella Cannarella, Rosita A Condorelli, Laura M Mongioì, Federica Barbagallo, Aldo E Calogero, Sandro La Vignera

a Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine , University of Catania , Catania , Italy.

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