Objective: Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor expression has been reported in many extra-gonadal tissues, raising the question of non-reproductive effects of FSH. Because of increasing usage of FSH in treatment of male infertility, deeper knowledge of possible harmful off-target effects of FSH is warranted. Methods: In total, 33 healthy young men (mean age 30 years) were included in the study. All received an s.c. injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist and n = 16 were randomized to 300 IU recombinant FSH (300 IE 3 times/week) for 5 weeks at first visit (V1) whereas n = 17 served as controls. Blood samples were taken at (V1), after 3 weeks (V2), and after 5 weeks (V3), when the study ended. At V2, all subjects received 1000 mg testosterone undecanoate i.m. A standard set of bio- and inflammatory markers were compared between the groups using the Mann–Whitney test adjusted for multiple testing. Results: As compared to controls, the FSH treated men had higher SHBG and albumin concentrations at V2 (p = 0.024 and 0.027, respectively), and lower levels of alanine aminotransferase (p = 0.026) and magnesium (p = 0.028) at V3. However, none of the results remained statistically significant after Bonferroni correction (p > 0.0011). Conclusions: FSH had no significant effects on non-reproductive organs when given in standard therapeutic doses to young men for 5 weeks. Therefore, the FSH treatment can be considered safe in otherwise healthy young men, constituting candidates for the infertility treatment with FSH.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cancer and Oncology
- Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
- male infertility