Before joining Texere Publishing as Editor of The Ophthalmologist, I spent seven years as a medical writer, writing primary and review manuscripts, congress presentations and marketing materials for numerous – and mostly German – pharmaceutical companies. Prior to my adventures in medical communications, I was a Wellcome Trust PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, where I examined mouse brain development. I miss my labcoat, pipette, peristaltic pumps and PCR machines, but I have grown to love my laptop, keyboard, mouse and rotating monitors even more.
Background . Though exogenous testosterone is known for its contraceptive effects in men, it is sometimes prescribed by medical practitioners for the treatment of male factor infertility in the mistaken belief that exogenous testosterone improves sperm count. The aim of this study was to evaluate the scope of testosterone use in the treatment of male factor infertility by medical practitioners in Lagos, Nigeria. Methods . A survey using a structured questionnaire was carried out amongst doctors attending a regular Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme in Lagos, Nigeria. Results . There were 225 respondents. Most of the respondents (%, ) indicated that exogenous testosterone increases sperm count. Only 22 respondents (%) indicated (correctly) that exogenous testosterone decreases sperm count. Seventy-seven respondents (%) had prescribed some form of exogenous testosterone in the treatment of male factor infertility. The vast majority of respondents who had prescribed testosterone (%, ) thought exogenous testosterone increases sperm count. There was no statistically significant difference in the pattern of prescription across the respondents’ specialty ( ) or practice type ( ). Conclusion . The misuse of exogenous testosterone for the treatment of male infertility was common amongst the respondents, with most of them wrongly believing that exogenous testosterone increases sperm count.
Conclusions. Available clinical trial data indicate that the use of testosterone in middle-aged to elderly men does not increase cardiovascular risk nor does it unfavorably modify cardiovascular risk profile. Prospective data from large, well-designed, long-term trials of testosterone treatment are lacking and will be required to verify the cardiovascular efficacy/safety of chronic treatment. Carson CC and Rosano G. Exogenous testosterone, cardiovascular events, and cardiovascular risk factors in elderly men: A review of trial data. J Sex Med 2012;9:54–67.