Statins and Male Fertility: Is There a Cause for Concern?
Omolaoye, Temidayo S.
Cyril, Asha Caroline
Du Plessis, Stefan
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Abstract: The well-known 3-hydroxyl 3-methyl glutaryl-Coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, called statins, have been the main medication used in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and some cases of cardiovascular diseases. The effectiveness of this drug in controlling cholesterol production is impeccable, however, patients often complain of a variety of side effects, such as myalgia, muscle atrophy, and in some cases, rhabdomyolysis. Not only has the use of statins caused the aforementioned side effects, but they are also shown to cause testicular discomfort, erectile dysfunction, altered semen parameters, and modified steroid hormone production. These reported adverse effects on male fertility are not generally agreed upon, as some have shown the use to be beneficial. Hence, this makes the aftermath effect of statin use on male fertility debatable and controversial. The negative effects have been associated with imbalanced or reduced steroid hormones, which are necessary for proper spermatogenesis and other sexual functions. Meanwhile, the beneficial effects are related to statin’s anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties. These contradictory findings are in part due to the different age of users, concentrations of statins, the type and duration of treatment, and the underlying disease and/or comorbidities. Therefore, the current study aims to analyze the literature and gather evidence as to the effects of statin on male sexual health and reproductive parameters, and subsequently give recommendations for the direction of future studies.