Can the fertility drug clomiphene citrate help treat male infertility?

Clomiphene citrate, marketed in pill form as Clomid or Serophene, is a prescription medicine commonly used for female infertility. It works by stimulating a part of the brain (the pituitary gland) that controls production of two hormones key to reproductive health: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Both hormones are also vital to men. FSH stimulates sperm production in the testicles, and LH stimulates testosterone production.

A number of studies have now conclusively demonstrated that modest doses of clomiphene successfully raises testosterone levels in men without impairing testicular function. Not only is testosterone boosted, sperm production and sperm quality may be enhanced as well.

I believe using clomiphene is an excellent way to raise the body's testosterone levels -- particularly in men using it to treat infertility. Other drugs similar to clomiphene are being developed that may provide similar benefits with, perhaps, lower risks (though clomiphene is, relatively speaking, a very safe drug). Future research may provide a new generation of medications to safely and effectively increase testosterone levels without the need for direct testosterone replacement therapy.

A word of caution: clomiphene should only be used under a doctor's supervision, and it should only be used by men who have documented hypogonadism (abnormally low testosterone). Like any medicine, clomiphene can be abused, and if not used correctly in appropriate patients, it may do more harm than good.

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