Published online May 6, 2015. doi: 10.5527/wjn.v4.i2.245
Peer-review started: June 21, 2014
First decision: August 14, 2014
Revised: December 27, 2014
Accepted: January 15, 2015
Article in press: January 19, 2015
Published online: May 6, 2015
The aim of this study is to review four case-based scenarios regarding the treatment of symptomatic hypogonadism in men. The article is designed as a review of published literature. We conducted a PubMed literature search for the time period of 1989-2014, concentrating on 26 studies investigating the efficacy of various therapeutic options on semen analysis, pregnancy outcomes, time to recovery of spermatogenesis, as well as serum and intratesticular testosterone levels. Our results demonstrated that exogenous testosterone suppresses intratesticular testosterone production, which is an absolute prerequisite for normal spermatogenesis. Cessation of exogenous testosterone should be recommended for men desiring to maintain their fertility. Therapies that protect the testis involve human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) therapy or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), but may also include low dose hCG with exogenous testosterone. Off-label use of SERMs, such as clomiphene citrate, are effective for maintaining testosterone production long-term and offer the convenience of representing a safe, oral therapy. At present, routine use of aromatase inhibitors is not recommended based on a lack of long-term data. We concluded that exogenous testosterone supplementation decreases sperm production. It was determined that clomiphene citrate is a safe and effective therapy for men who desire to maintain fertility. Although less frequently used in the general population, hCG therapy with or without testosterone supplementation represents an alternative treatment.
Core tip: Symptomatic hypogonadism is both a common and growing health issue. Our four case-based scenarios assess different treatment options for hypogonadotropic male hypogonadism such as clomiphene citrate, human chorionic gonadotropin, and anastrozole. Furthermore, we provide clinical recommendations that can help physicians when confronted with situations such as the ones presented in this article.