A controlled trial of the use of erythromycin for men with asthenospermia

Int J Androl. 1984 Oct;7(5):383-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.1984.tb00795.x.


A double-blind crossover controlled trial of Erythromycin was conducted in 78 men with asthenospermia (mean pretreatment sperm concentration greater than or equal to 20 X 10(6)/ml and motility less than 60%). Sperm motility increased above the pretreatment mean after the first one month course of treatment for both Erythromycin (7.9 +/- 2.6% P less than 0.01; mean +/- SEM) and the placebo group (7.5 +/- 2.2% P less than 0.01) and also after the second one month course of treatment, given one month after the first, for both Erythromycin (11.8 +/- 2.7% P less than 0.001) and placebo (11.4 +/- 2.8% P less than 0.001). There was no significant difference between the changes in sperm motility with Erythromycin and placebo. Twelve pregnancies occurred during the four month trial time--eight with Erythromycin and four with placebo (chi 2 = 2.51 P = NS). It is concluded that in infertile men, sperm motility tends to increase spontaneously with time. Erythromycin treatment has no significant effect on semen quality and a larger trial will be required to determine if Erythromycin increases fertility.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erythromycin / adverse effects
  • Erythromycin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / drug therapy*
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Sperm Motility


  • Erythromycin