INVITED REVIEW
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 145-148

Would male hormonal contraceptives affect cardiovascular risk?


Center for Andrology and Reproductive Medicine, University Clinics Muenster, Muenster, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Michael Zitzmann
Center for Andrology and Reproductive Medicine, University Clinics Muenster, Muenster, Germany

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aja.aja_2_18

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The aim of hormonal male contraception is to prevent unintended pregnancies by suppressing spermatogenesis. Hormonal male contraception is based on the principle that exogenous administration of androgens and other hormones such as progestins suppress circulating gonadotropin concentrations, decreasing testicular Leydig cell and Sertoli cell activity and spermatogenesis. In order to achieve more complete suppression of circulating gonadotropins and spermatogenesis, a progestin has been added testosterone to the most recent efficacy trials of hormonal male contraceptives. This review focusses on the potential effects of male hormonal contraceptives on cardiovascular risk factors, lipids and body composition, mainly in the target group of younger to middle-aged men. Present data suggest that hormonal male contraception can be reasonably regarded as safe in terms of cardiovascular risk. However, as all trials have been relatively short (< 3 years), a final statement regarding the cardiovascular safety of hormonal male contraception, especially in long-term use, cannot be made. Older men with at high risk of cardiovascular event might not be good candidates for hormonal male contraception. The potential adverse effects of hormonal contraceptives on cardiovascular risk appear to depend greatly on the choice of the progestin in regimens for hormonal male contraceptives. In the development of prospective hormonal male contraception, data on longer-term cardiovascular safety will be essential.


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