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Male Infertility Treatment Boosts Sperm Count

Small Egyptian study uses hormone-antioxidant combo to improve odds of conception

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- A hormone-antioxidant combination therapy appears to improve sperm count and motility in infertile men, according to an Egyptian study.

The research included 60 men eligible for infertility treatment. They were randomly selected to take either the combination treatment of clomiphene citrate and vitamin E or a placebo for six months. By the end of the study, their partner's pregnancy rate was about 37 percent among men who'd taken the combination therapy, compared with 13 percent for those in the placebo group.

The men in the treatment group also had a greater increase in sperm concentration and an improvement in sperm progression, the Cairo University researchers found.

The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid or Serophene) is an anti-estrogen drug designed as a fertility medicine for women but sometimes used to boost sperm production in men with low sperm counts and poor sperm motility. Vitamin E helps counter oxidative stress, which is associated with sperm DNA damage and reduced sperm motility.

"The results of this study will be encouraging to male factor patients and their doctors," Dr. R. Dale McClure, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said in a society news release. "However, more research is needed to determine how the components of the combination therapy affect the different semen parameters observed and the advantages of using these drugs singly or in combination with other drugs not used in this study."

More information

The American Urological Association has more about male infertility.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Society for Reproductive Medicine, news release, March 27, 2009

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