Combined administration of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist and testosterone in men induces reversible azoospermia without loss of libido.

Pavlou SN, Brewer K, Farley MG, Lindner J, Bastias MC, Rogers BJ, Swift LL, Rivier JE, Vale WW, Conn PM
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1991 73 (6): 1360-9

PMID: 1955518 · DOI:10.1210/jcem-73-6-1360

GnRH antagonists suppress pituitary and gonadal function by competing with endogenous GnRH for binding to receptors on pituitary gonadotrophs. We studied the effects of GnRH antagonist administration to men in a protocol simulating a likely male contraceptive regimen combined with a low dose of testosterone. The GnRH antagonist Nal-Glu was given daily (10 mg, sc) for 20 weeks to eight normal men, and a low dose of testosterone enanthate (25 mg, sc) was given every week. Sperm counts started declining during week 4, and complete azoospermia was reached within 6-12 weeks in six of the eight subjects. Subjects 7 and 8, whose sperm counts and serum gonadotropin levels were not suppressed after 10 weeks, were given 20 mg Nal-Glu starting at week 10. One became azoospermic at week 16, while the other's total sperm counts continued declining and reached a nadir of 1.4 million by week 20. Sperm motility and viability in this subject were completely suppressed after week 14. Sperm counts returned to baseline levels 12-14 weeks after the end of Nal-Glu administration. The mean serum LH level of the first six subjects decreased from 3 +/- 03. U/L at baseline to less than 0.1 U/L until week 20, and then levels returned to baseline. FSH levels similarly decreased from a combined mean of 3.6 +/- 0.9 U/L at baseline to below 0.3 U/L after 4 weeks of Nal-Glu administration. Serum mean testosterone levels between weekly injections of testosterone enanthate ranged from 27.4 +/- 5.9 to 4.8 +/- 1.4 nmol/L, but remained in the hypogonadal range (less than 10 nmol/L) for 4 of the 7 days. None of the subjects, however, complained of decreased libido or potency, as assessed by a questionnaire. No systemic or significant local side-effects were observed, other than a minimal reaction at the injection site. These data suggest that complete sustained azoospermia can be achieved in man, without loss of libido, by chronic administration of a GnRH antagonist plus testosterone.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adult Cell Survival Contraceptive Agents, Male Drug Combinations Gonadal Steroid Hormones Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Humans Libido Lipids Male Middle Aged Oligospermia Sperm Count Sperm Motility Testosterone

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