Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Lupus Health Center

Font Size

Men's Lupus Treatment: Fertility Woes?

Researchers Say Treatment With Cytoxan May Be Tied to Sperm Damage
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 28, 2007 -- A new study shows a lupus treatment may lead to fertility problems in men.

Researchers found sperm damage linked to infertility is common in men with lupus and appears to be related to a commonly used treatment for the disease.

Because the disease tends to strike during the reproductive years, researchers say the results suggest freezing and storing sperm should be discussed early in the treatment of men diagnosed with lupus.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system turns on itself and attacks healthy tissue and joints, causing organ damage, severe pain, and often debilitating disability.

The disease is nine times more common in women than in men, and researchers say this is the first study to look at how the disease and its treatments affect male reproductive health.

Lupus Treatment May Cause Male Infertility

In the study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil compared sperm count, shape, and function in 35 men with lupus to a group of healthy men.

The results showed men with lupus had lower average sperm counts and sperm motility. They also had a lower sperm volume and a lower percentage of normally formed sperm.

In addition, researchers examined the men’s sexual organs including the testes, which produce sperm, and found men with lupus had smaller testicular volumes in both testes than the healthy men.

Their analysis showed men with lupus who had more treatments of intravenous cyclophosphamide (also known as Cytoxan) were much more likely to have permanent sperm damage tied to infertility than men who had received the treatment less often.

They say it’s not possible to predict which men with lupus will become infertile as a result of this treatment. But this study suggests that about five years of treatment with Cytoxan is associated with severe sperm damage and reinforces the need to discuss storing sperm prior to treatment.

Today on WebMD

grocery shopping list
And the memory problems that may come with it.
Lupus rash on nails
A detailed, visual guide.
sunburst filtering through leaves
You might be extra sensitive to UV light. Read on.
fruit drinks
For better focus in your life.
Woman rubbing shoulder
Bag of cosmetics
young woman hiding face
pregnant woman
5 Lupus Risk Factors
Young adult couple
doctor advising patient
sticky notes on face

WebMD Special Sections