Purpose: Testosterone replacement therapy results in decreased serum gonadotropins and intratesticular testosterone, and impairs spermatogenesis, leading to azoospermia in 40% of patients. However, intratesticular testosterone can be maintained during testosterone replacement therapy with co-administration of low dose human chorionic gonadotropin, which may support continued spermatogenesis in patients on testosterone replacement therapy.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of hypogonadal men treated with testosterone replacement therapy and concomitant low dose human chorionic gonadotropin. Testosterone replacement consisted of daily topical gel or weekly intramuscular injection with intramuscular human chorionic gonadotropin (500 IU) every other day. Serum and free testosterone, estradiol, semen parameters and pregnancy rates were evaluated before and during therapy.
Results: A total of 26 men with a mean age of 35.9 years were included in the study. Mean followup was 6.2 months. Of the men 19 were treated with injectable testosterone and 7 were treated with transdermal gel. Mean serum hormone levels before vs during treatment were testosterone 207.2 vs 1,055.5 ng/dl (p <0.0001), free testosterone 8.1 vs 20.4 pg/ml (p = 0.02) and estradiol 2.2 vs 3.7 pg/ml (p = 0.11). Pretreatment semen parameters were volume 2.9 ml, density 35.2 million per ml, motility 49.0% and forward progression 2.3. No differences in semen parameters were observed during greater than 1 year of followup. No impact on semen parameters was observed as a function of testosterone formulation. No patient became azoospermic during concomitant testosterone replacement and human chorionic gonadotropin therapy. Nine of 26 men contributed to pregnancy with the partner during followup.
Conclusions: Low dose human chorionic gonadotropin appears to maintain semen parameters in hypogonadal men on testosterone replacement therapy. Concurrent testosterone replacement and human chorionic gonadotropin use may preserve fertility in hypogonadal males who desire fertility preservation while on testosterone replacement therapy.
Copyright © 2013 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.