Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) may be effective for treating male infertility, according to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy.

SERMs are compounds that exhibit tissue-selective estrogen receptor agonist and antagonist activity. Clomiphene citrate and tamoxifen are two agents commonly used for the off-label management of male infertility.

To investigate the effects of SERMs on male patients with idiopathic infertility, researchers conducted a literature search and identified 16 trials in which outcomes related to conventional sperm parameters, serum gonadotropin and testosterone levels, and pregnancy rate were reported.

Results of the study showed that SERM use was associated with a significant increase in sperm concentration and total sperm count, as well as an increase in serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and total testosterone.

“In contrast, SERMs did not have any significant effect on sperm concentration and progressive and total motility, but improved total sperm count, sperm morphology, and increased the pregnancy rate compared to the control group, which included studies done with placebo or other treatments,” the authors explained.

Based on these results, the authors concluded that SERMs appear to be effective for treating male infertility, however additional research is needed to confirm these findings.

This article originally appeared on MPR