Background: During the last years new targeted regimen for several autoimmune diseases has been developed leading to an ameliorated quality of life for these patients. Nevertheless, their fertility potential seems to be impaired either by the activity of the autoimmune diseases or by the medical treatment used to suppress these conditions. This systematic review intends to reveal how autoimmune diseases and their regimen affect male fertility.
Methods: A search of English-language articles from electronic databases was conducted. The results that were used referred to impaired fertility in male patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Behcet’s disease, gout, dermatomyositis, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis and sarcoidosis.
Conclusion: Thirty-nine articles were finally included regarding the following diseases: Dermatomyositis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Behcet’s disease, Gout, Celiac disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Psoriasis, Sarcoidosis as well as two systematic reviews. Cyclophosphamide therapy seems to impair fertility in male patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Behcet’s disease. Colchicine use may lead to sperm abnormalities in patients with gout whereas anti-TNF treatment in ankylosing spondylitis does not affect the fertility potential. Antisperm antibodies and sulphasalazine treatment in rheumatoid arthritis, as well as mesalazine, infliximab and methotrexate use in inflammatory bowel disease, result in gonadal dysfunction, respectively. More data addressing male fertility are needed for patients with Dermatomyositis, Sarcoidosis, Psoriasis and Celiac disease. Fertility impairment is common in autoimmune diseases. Henceforth, more studies are needed to identify the relationship between fertility and immunity.
Keywords: Autoimmune diseases; Male fertility; Sperm abnormalities; Semen quality; Fertility impairment