Cochrane Summaries

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Gonadotrophins for idiopathic male factor subfertility

Attia AM, Abou-Setta AM, Al-Inany HG
Published Online: 
23 August 2013


Male subfertility contributes to at least 50% of subfertility in couples. Around 39% of subfertile men have idiopathic subfertility (male subfertility with an unknown cause or origin). Gonadotrophins (hormones that stimulate sperm production) have been used in the treatment of men with this condition, but results have been inconsistent. We reviewed the evidence.

Study characteristics

We found six randomised controlled trials, with 456 participants.

Key results

There was a trend towards an increase in live birth and pregnancy rates during and within three months of gonadotrophin treatment. The quality of the evidence was very low. We did not find enough studies to allow final conclusions about the use of gonadotrophins in the treatment of men with idiopathic male factor subfertility. The quality of the evidence was very low. More studies on this subject are needed. The evidence is current to January 2013.

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