Drug use among men with unfulfilled wish to father children: a retrospective analysis and discussion of specific drug classes

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Abstract

Purpose

Male infertility is a multifactorial state. Among other risk factors, drugs can adversely affect male fertility and male sexual function. In a retrospective study we aimed to analyse how many involuntarily childless men seeking fertility evaluation consume drugs, which drugs and if these are potentially affecting male reproductive function.

Methods

We retrospectively identified involuntarily childless men presenting for fertility evaluation at an andrologic outpatient department from 2011 to 2014. Medical records were searched for current drug use, age, diseases affecting male fertility, and number and kind of drugs. Drugs were classified according to their Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code. Adverse drug reactions on male sexual function and fertility were searched in two independent literature sources.

Results

Drug use was documented for 244 of 522 patients (46.7%). The patients' mean age was 37.7 ± 8.7; the total number of drug intakes was 554 (mean 2.3 ± 1.9), corresponding to 201 different drugs. The most often involved Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical groups were nervous system (N), alimentary tract/metabolism (A), cardiovascular (C), and respiratory system (R) (n = 277; 50.0%). Fertility impairment was reported for 15.9%, and adverse drug reactions on male sexual function were found for 51.2% of all identified drugs. Underreporting of consumed drugs was likely, especially for non-prescription drugs.

Conclusions

A high percentage of involuntarily childless men is taking drugs that can potentially influence male reproductive function. As drug intake represents a modifiable risk factor, fertility evaluation requires a comprehensive medication review including prescription and non-prescription drugs. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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