Antidiabetic therapies and male reproductive function: where do we stand?
Diabetes mellitus has been increasing at alarming rates in recent years, thus jeopardizing human health worldwide. Several antidiabetic drugs have been introduced in the market to manage glycemic levels, and proven effective in avoiding, minimizing or preventing the appearance or development of diabetes mellitus-related complications. However, and despite the established association between such pathology and male reproductive dysfunction, the influence of these therapeutic interventions on such topics have been scarcely explored. Importantly, this pathology may contribute toward the global decline in male fertility, giving the increasing preponderance of diabetes mellitus in young men at their reproductive age. Therefore, it is mandatory that the reproductive health of diabetic individuals is maintained during the antidiabetic treatment. With this in mind, we have gathered the available information and made a critical analysis regarding the effects of several antidiabetic drugs on male reproductive function. Unlike insulin, which has a clear and fundamental role on male reproductive function, the other antidiabetic therapies’ effects at this level seem incoherent. In fact, studies are highly controversial possibly due to the different experimental study approaches, which, in our opinion, suggests caution when it comes to prescribing such drugs to young diabetic patients. Overall, much is still to be determined and further studies are needed to clarify the safety of these antidiabetic strategies on male reproductive system. Aspects such as the effects of insulin levels variations, consequent of insulin therapy, as well as what will be the impact of the side effect hypoglycemia, common to several therapeutic strategies discussed, on the male reproductive system are still to be addressed.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science