Evaluation of a serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone as a predictor of semen parameter improvement in men undergoing medical treatment for infertility
Introduction: The goal of medical therapy for infertile men with testosterone deficiency (TD) is to improve intratesticular testosterone (ITT). There is a gap in knowledge to identify those who will respond with semen parameter(s) improvement. We hypothesized that serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) — a marker of ITT — can be used to predict improvement of semen parameter(s).
Methods: Between July 2018 and January 2020, we conducted a prospective study of 31 men with primary infertility, TD, and secondary hypogonadism receiving clomiphene citrate (CC) and/ or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for three months. We assessed baseline and followup hormones, including testosterone, 17-OHP, semen parameter(s), and demographics. Semen quality upgrading was based on assisted reproduction eligibility: in-vitro fertilization (<5 million), intrauterine insemination (IUI) (5–9 million), and natural pregnancy (>9 million). Variables were compared using the Mann-Whitney U or Wilcoxon rank test.
Results: Twenty-one men received CC and 10 received CC/hCG. Median followup was 3.7 (3.3–5.1) months. Sixteen men upgraded semen quality. Six of 10 men with baseline total motile sperm count (TMSC) of 0 had motile sperm after treatment, and 11/20 men with TMSC <5 upgraded semen quality into TMSC >5 range. Low 17-OHP was the only factor that predicted semen quality upgrading. Men with 17-OHP ≤55 ng/dL upgraded semen quality and improved hormones, whereas men with 17-OHP >55 ng/dL did not upgrade semen quality.
Conclusions: Medical therapy for infertile men with TD resulted in the improvement of sperm concentration, TMSC, testosterone, and 17-OHP. Semen quality upgrading appears to be more significant in patients with low 17-OHP, suggesting that ITT can be used as a biomarker to predict semen parameter(s) improvement.
You, the Author(s), assign your copyright in and to the Article to the Canadian Urological Association. This means that you may not, without the prior written permission of the CUA:
- Post the Article on any Web site
- Translate or authorize a translation of the Article
- Copy or otherwise reproduce the Article, in any format, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so
- Copy or otherwise reproduce portions of the Article, including tables and figures, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so.
The CUA encourages use for non-commercial educational purposes and will not unreasonably deny any such permission request.
You retain your moral rights in and to the Article. This means that the CUA may not assert its copyright in such a way that would negatively reflect on your reputation or your right to be associated with the Article.
The CUA also requires you to warrant the following:
- That you are the Author(s) and sole owner(s), that the Article is original and unpublished and that you have not previously assigned copyright or granted a licence to any other third party;
- That all individuals who have made a substantive contribution to the article are acknowledged;
- That the Article does not infringe any proprietary right of any third party and that you have received the permissions necessary to include the work of others in the Article; and
- That the Article does not libel or violate the privacy rights of any third party.