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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2006 Jul;22(7):399-401.

An infertile couple suffering from oligospermia by partial sperm maturation arrest: can phytoestrogens play a therapeutic role? A case report study.

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Department of Human Physiology and Pharmacology Vittorio Erspamer, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


We describe the case of a 30-year-old man with severe oligospermia, caused by partial sperm maturation arrest at spermatidic stage, who was given phytoestrogens. The couple had been trying to conceive for 3 years. The woman was normal at the clinical and endocrinological examination. No other parameters except sperm count, motility and morphology were altered in the male subject. Semen analysis was performed at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of therapy, which consisted of phytoestrogens 80 mg/day for 6 months. An additional semen analysis was performed 6 months after the termination of therapy (wash-out period). During the third month semen parameters improved drastically; therefore a reproductive technique (intrauterine insemination) was performed. This treatment resulted in pregnancy, and a healthy baby weighing 3300 g was born. After 6 months of treatment, sperm parameters ameliorated further. Conversely, after the wash-out period, they returned to baseline values. The appealing results strongly suggest a therapeutic role for phytoestrogens in the treatment of oligospermia. However, it is evident that a validation stage and randomized, controlled studies are essential in order to confirm this observation and verify that phytoestrogens can play an important role in male infertility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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