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Posted by on Jan 21, 2020 in Infertility | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated if follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) supplementation improves sperm parameters in male infertility (MI). They found that FSH improved sperm parameters in these patients. 

Some background

Male infertility (MI) is a common cause of infertility. In many cases, the cause of MI cannot be explained. MI is often associated with abnormal sperm parameters. Sperm parameters include sperm count (SC) and sperm concentration (SCC). The shape and size of sperm is also a sperm parameter. This is called sperm morphology (SM). 

Hormone treatment can help treat MI. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is naturally present in the body. It plays a role in the making of sperm (spermatogenesis, SPG). FSH is sometimes used to treat MI in some countries. However, it is not licensed for this indication (treatment). It is unclear if FSH supplementation can improve MI. 

Methods & findings

This study included 718 couples undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART). Some patients underwent genetic analysis (GA). Based on GA, patients were prescribed a treatment. 64.9% received treatment. 397 patients (85.2%) received FSH supplementation. 351 men received FSH alone while the rest received combination treatments. The main outcomes of this study were sperm parameters. 

FSH patients had improved SCC. The percentage of sperm with normal SM was higher in FSH-treated patients. Among patients treated with FSH decreased from 73% to 56%. 

The rates of low SC were 17% lower in FSH patients. The rate of abnormal SM decreased from 43.6% to 27.7% in FSH-treated patients. There were similar improvements in men who received FSH treatment alone and in those who received combined FSH treatment. Also, the duration of treatment or dosage used did not affect these results.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that FSH treatment improved sperm parameters in men with infertility.

The fine print

Treatment was not randomized in this study. Different treatment protocols were used. This could lead to bias. More controlled studies are needed. 

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding infertility please consult with your physician.

Published By :


Date :

Dec 24, 2019

Original Title :

Use of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) for the male partner of idiopathic infertile couples in Italy: Results from a multicentre, observational, clinical practice survey.

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