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Asian J Androl. 2004 Jun;6(2):133-7.

Effect of follicle-stimulating hormone on sperm quality and pregnancy rate.

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Department of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, Section of Biology, University of Siena, Via T. Pendola 62, 53100 Siena, Italy.



To evaluate the possible links between ultrastructural sperm quality and the clinical pregnancy rate in infertile males treated with FSH before intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).


Forty-four infertile males with idiopathic oligo-asthenozoospermia were randomly allocated to the treated (n=24) and non-treated (control, n=20) groups. Semen analysis was carried out by light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) before and 12 weeks after FSH therapy. ICSI was performed in all couples.


TEM revealed a significant improvement in sperm quality after FSH treatment, particularly in men with their partners achieving clinical pregnancy. The pregnancy rate was 33 % in the treated group and 20 % in the control.


RESULTS highlight a positive role of FSH therapy in infertile males before ICSI, which was correlated with an increased pregnancy rate in treated couples. We believe that improved sperm ultrastructure after FSH therapy could positively influence the quality and early stage of embryo development, thereby increasing the probability of embryo implantation.

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