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You probably know Clomid (clomiphene citrate) as the most effective ovulation-inducing drug around, and one that helps many women not just conceive, but have twins.

What is less well-known is that this same drug is also sometimes used off-label as a male fertility treatment. Clomid for men helps with hypogonadism. So, what's hypogonadism, and how where does Clomid come in?

Hypogonadism

The term "hypogonadism" refers to a reduced functioning of the testes or ovaries. Anything "hypo" is low or reduced, and the gonads are the ovaries and testes. In short, hypogonadism in men is a hormonal imbalance characterized by low androgen (usually testosterone) levels. This affects the production of sperm negatively and can result in infertility.

This hormonal imbalance is referred to as hypogonadism or a diminished functioning of the testicles because androgens, including testosterone, are produced within the testicles. Hypogonadism can be identified fairly easily once a couple enters the fertility testing process because they have been trying to conceive for a set amount of time (usually 12 months or more) without success. A blood test checks a man's hormone levels, usually in the morning when they are at their highest. A testosterone level of 350 ng/dL or less will usually provoke treatment.

So, what treatment is available for this male hormone imbalance? It depends on the type of hypogonadism. There are two types of hypogonadism. Primary hypogonadism means the problem lies distinctly within the testicles themselves. Problems like Turner Syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome are associated with this type. The problem can also be due to external factors, and that's called secondary hypogonadism.

Clomid for men

It's secondary hypogonadism that can react well to Clomid. Though testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a more conventional treatment for this problem, Clomid has been shown to be successful in many cases. If your doctor suggests Clomid which is, after all, very widely known as a popular female fertility treatment don't be surprised. Remember that ovulation also occurs within a gonad, namely the ovaries, and that the two problems being treated are really not that dissimilar. Clomid has several advantages over TRT. As with female infertility due to anovulation, Clomid is favored because of its low cost.

The oral nature of Clomid is also preferable to injections and gels for many men, and what you really want to hear is that Clomid does not have the unfortunate side effect of shrinking the testicles. This is, unfortunately, something that can indeed happen with testosterone replacement therapy. Something you want to keep in mind if your doctor prescribes Clomid or its generic counterpart clomiphene citrate is that it is used strictly off-label.

Clomiphene citrate has not been approved as a treatment for male fertility by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is probably a good idea to mention that you should never buy medications off the internet in order to engage in a DIY treatment program, even if you have been diagnosed with a specific condition that you know can be treated with a certain drug. I mention this specifically because Clomid is widely advertised and sold by dubious websites, and many people are buying Clomid online without prescription.

Don't even go there.

Buying medication on the internet is dangerous for many reasons, including because you will not be monitored by a doctor and because you have no idea that the drug you think you bought is actually the drug you will be getting.

If you have been diagnosed with hypogonadism, there is something else you may want to ask your doctor about. The single isomer of clomifene, enclomiphene is currently in phase two of trials for male infertility. It's being tested under the brand name Androxal, which you may find interesting if you (or your partner, of course) were diagnosed with low testosterone levels resulting in infertility.

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