Objective: The aim of this exploratory study was to assess the effect of growth hormone on semen parameters in men with primary infertility and normogonadotropic idiopathic oligoasthenospermia.
Method: This study was performed as a prospective, open- label, non-randomized observational study in a private practice in fourteen men, aged 26 to 35, with normogonadotropic idiopathic oligoasthenospermia. Growth hormone 1.5 IU/day was administered for 6 months and semen parameters assessed on a monthly basis. All were normogonadotropic, with normal sexual function, normal body hair pattern and masculinization, normal testicular volume and penile size. All had received various treatments for infertility in the past, including successful treatment for pyospermia in seven of the cases. Fine needle aspiration cytology revealed normal to depressed spermatogenesis, with cells of all stages visible, in all patients.
Results: The initial sperm count varied from 0.1 to 10 million/ml, with motility ranging from 1 to 50%. Semen volume, count and motility improved in all patients. Volume increased from 0.63±0.40 ml to 1.24±0.42 ml (Z=3.68; P<0.01), count from 3.76±3.42 to 5.87±6.76 million/ml (Z=1.04; P=0.05), and motility index from 19±11.67% to 24±12.1% (Z=1.11; P>0.05). The increase was most marked during the first three months of therapy. Not much improvement was noticed during the later half of treatment. None of the patients experienced any side effects. Three subjects fathered children over the next 1 year, two with the help of intrauterine insemination.
Conclusion: Growth hormone can be explored as an effective treatment for men with primary infertility and normogonadotropic idiopathic oligoasthenospermia.