Clomid for Men
Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is one of the most popular and recognizable brand name fertility drugs available. Clomid is approved by the FDA to treat female infertility, but not for men. So instead, Clomid for men is prescribed off-label (as clomiphene citrate) to treat male infertility. Clomid is especially useful for men with low sperm counts, but it can also help to improve overall male fertility by correcting hormonal imbalances and increasing hormone production.
This article will review what makes a man a good candidate for Clomid treatment, potential side effects, and everything else you need to know about Clomid and male fertility!
- Up to half of all cases of infertility can be attributed in part or in full to male factor infertility.
- Men are constantly producing new sperm, and with the appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes, they can significantly improve their sperm quality and overall fertility.
- Clomid can significantly improve fertility for men with low sperm counts caused by low testosterone levels.
- Clomid increases FSH production (increasing sperm production) and LH (testosterone production), leading to better sperm production and function.
- Taking Clomid is one of many ways men can boost their fertility.
Clomid for Men – How it Works
Clomiphene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator. It selectively binds to estrogen receptors and blocks the effects of estrogen. This causes increased production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The additional FSH acts on the Sertoli cells of the testes to stimulate sperm production (spermatogenesis). The increased LH causes the testicles to increase the amount of testosterone being produced, which is also good for sperm production.
Bottom line: Clomid can help male fertility in a couple of ways. It can help increase sperm count levels and also to correct hormonal imbalances, especially low testosterone. By increasing a man’s sperm count, he may have a better chance of conceiving naturally or with the use of intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment.
Research on Clomid for Male Fertility
Sperm Quality and Pregnancy Rates: The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) published a study on Clomiphene Citrate treatment’s ability to treat men with idiopathic oligozoospermia (unexplained decrease in sperm concentration or quality) and infertility. The study separated participants into a clomiphene treatment group and a control group. After 6 months of treatment, the clomiphene citrate treatment group participants saw a greater increase in sperm count, progressive sperm motility, and pregnancy rates than the control group.
Bottom line: There is research available in support of Clomid treatment to increase testosterone production, sperm quality and improve pregnancy chances.
Who is Clomid Recommended For?
Clomid is usually recommended for men who have infertility, who also have low testosterone.
One of the easiest ways to test a man’s fertility is through a semen analysis test. A semen analysis checks the count, shape, ability to move, and overall health and viability of a man’s sperm.
All it takes to check your testosterone levels is a simple blood test. Testosterone blood tests are usually completed in the morning as that is when testosterone levels are the highest.
Clomid Dosage for Male Infertility
Clomid is prescribed at a much lower dosage for men than it is for women. There is not a universally accepted recommended dosage for treating male fertility with Clomid, but usually, it is prescribed between 25 mg every other day and 50 mg daily.
Be sure to speak with a fertility specialist or your healthcare provider regarding dosing, as high Clomid dosages can have a negative effect on sperm.
How Long Does Clomid Take to Work
Sperm take between 90 to 108 days to fully develop prior to being ejaculated. As such, it takes time to see the results of Clomid treatment on sperm quality. Therefore, men should take Clomid for as long as possible (ideally 3-4 months) before trying to conceive naturally or with the assistance of fertility treatments.
Clomid Side Effects
The most common Clomid side effects include:
- mood changes
- breast tenderness
- blurry vision (stop taking and seek medical attention right away if this occurs)
Other possible side effects from increased hormone levels include:
- acceleration of prostate cancer growth
- changes in vision
Other Ways To Improve Male Fertility and Treat Infertility
Taking Clomid is just one of many ways men can improve their fertility. There are other ways to naturally increase a man’s testosterone and sperm count, like taking male fertility supplements, eating a fertility-friendly diet, and ensuring appropriate levels of different vitamins and nutrients.
There are also several different fertility treatments available to overcome male fertility issues.
Other Male Fertility Pills and Medications
Alternative oral medications that are used to treat male fertility include:
- Letrozole or Femara: Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor (lowers estrogen production). It is an exciting new male fertility treatment that has been shown to improve sperm concentration and the testosterone to estradiol ratio for men with oligozoospermia.
- Anastrazole or Arimidex: Anastrazole is another aromatase inhibitor that works to decrease the production of estrogen and increase testosterone in the body. Research shows that Anastrazole can help to reduce testosterone levels, improve the ratio of testosterone to estradiol, and significantly improve sperm parameters.
In addition to oral medications, male infertility can also be treated via injectable medications like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG).
Human Menopausal Gonadotropin: If men don’t see results after an extended period of time with hCG treatment, hMG injections may be added to their treatment protocol. In combination, hCG and hMG have been shown to increase sperm count and motility.
Supplements to Increase Male Fertility
If you’re struggling with infertility, or are just looking to improve your fertility, look for a comprehensive male fertility supplement that includes a wide range of vitamins and nutrients known to support sperm health.
Fertility Treatment Options
An IUI, commonly referred to as artificial insemination, is a simple procedure where sperm are placed in a woman’s uterus while she is ovulating. During IUI treatment, the male produces a semen sample that is then collected, washed, concentrated, and prepped for depositing into the female partner. IUI procedures can help to overcome unexplained infertility and male factor infertility, especially for men with low sperm motility and low sperm volume.
IVF is the gold standard of fertility medicine and offers the highest success rates and quickest time to pregnancy of any fertility treatment available. During an IVF procedure, the male provides a semen sample which is then prepped similarly to IUI treatment. Sperm can be collected the morning of an IVF procedure or ahead of time and frozen until the day of the procedure. After the sperm are prepped and suspended in a solution similar to the environment inside the fallopian tubes, the sample is transferred to the embryology lab. During traditional IVF, the sperm sample is placed in a petri dish with the female partner’s eggs so fertilization can occur.
IVF can help increases the chances of pregnancy for nearly all infertile men, but it is especially helpful for men with low sperm count, low sperm concentration, and low sperm motility.
For ICSI IVF, the process is completely the same as traditional IVF, besides how fertilization occurs. During a ICSI procedure, the sperm are injected into the egg(s) with a micromanipulator and hollow needle.
The injection of sperm further increases the chance that sperm and egg meet and fertilization can occur.
Sperm extraction procedures like PESA and TESA are surgical procedures used for men whose semen doesn’t contain any sperm. During these procedures, sperm is found and retrieved from some part of the male reproductive tract. Both PESA and TESA procedures are typically completed in conjunction with IVF or ICSI procedures.
Clomid for men can help improve several aspects of male fertility, including low testosterone levels, hormone ratios, sperm count, and it has even been shown to improve pregnancy rates. Clomid is most commonly prescribed to men who have infertility that also have low testosterone levels. Clomid treatment is just one of many ways that men can improve their fertility, along with taking male fertility supplements and eating a diet conducive to fertility.