While drug therapy is a fairly common form of fertility treatment for women, the use of fertility drugs in men is not. In fact, only about 5% of men with a hormone imbalance will be helped by medications. However, when fertility drugs are prescribed to men, it is generally for hormone imbalance issues. There are a variety of drugs that can be prescribed for male infertility. Just which you receive will depend on the problems you are experiencing.
When the hormonal imbalance is the result of disrupted signals between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and the testes, thereby affecting sperm production, men often receive gonadotropins. This type of therapy is usually very helpful in men.
Gonadotropins are commonly used in men who have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, abnormally low sperm count, or have less than 40% sperm motility. Common gonadotropins used in men include hCG and FSH, both of which are injectable fertility drugs.
Testosterone deficiency can often be attributed to a lack of gonadotropins. To help stimulate the release of gonadotropins, men can also receive antiestrogen fertility drugs. Usual antiestrogen medications prescribed to men include tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and clomiphene (Clomid).
However, the use of antiestrogens may boost testosterone production in men to above normal levels, which can negatively impact on sperm production. Therefore, men receiving this type of therapy should have their testosterone levels monitored. Moreover, the FDA has not approved the use of Clomid in men nor has it been found to be especially effective. Side effects of clomiphene in men include weight gain or loss, vision problems, skin changes, libido changes and neurological or gastrointestinal disturbances.