The treatment of hypogonadism in men of reproductive age
Kim ED, Crosnoe L, Bar-Chama N, Khera M, Lipshultz LI. Fertil Steril. 2012 Dec 6. pii: S0015-0282(12)02430-2. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.10.052. [Epub ahead of print]


University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee. Electronic address:



To review the mechanisms of T replacement therapy's inhibition of spermatogenesis and current therapeutic approaches in reproductive aged men.


Review of published literature.


PubMed search from 1990-2012.


PubMed search from 1990-2012.


A literature review was performed.


Semen analysis and pregnancy outcomes, time to recovery of spermatogenesis, serum and intratesticular T levels.


Exogenous T suppresses intratesticular T production, which is an absolute prerequisite for normal spermatogenesis. Therapies that protect the testis involve hCG therapy or selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulators, but may also include low-dose hCG with exogenous T. Off-label use of selective ER modulators, such as clomiphene citrate (CC), are effective for maintaining T 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.


Exogenous T supplementation decreases sperm production. Studies of hormonal contraception indicate that most men have a return of normal sperm production within 1 year after discontinuation. Clomiphene citrate is a safe and effective therapy for men who desire to maintain future potential fertility. Although less frequently used in the general population, hCG therapy with or without T supplementation represents an alternative treatment.