Lots of men with erectile dysfunction depend on drugs like Viagra to give their man-hood a boost in the bedroom. But that might not be the only below-the-belt benefit to taking those kinds of meds.
Erectile dysfunction drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors—which include meds like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra—may also boost sperm quality in men whose swimmers aren’t up to snuff, a new meta-analysis from China concludes.
After crunching the numbers from 11 studies including 1,317 men, they discovered that taking the erectile dysfunction meds increased the number of motile sperm and normally-shaped sperm in men who were considered infertile—because of low sperm counts, for instance.
That’s important, since sperm motility, or how effectively they move, and sperm morphology, or how normally they are shaped, are important factors in what makes sperm successful. And that can affect your ability to get your partner pregnant.
The researchers also discovered that chronic administration of the erectile dysfunction drugs seemed to be more effective at improving sperm parameters than just popping the pills as needed.
It’s possible that . blocking PDE5, the erectile dysfunction drugs enhance the effects of a chemical in your body called cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP—and that’s important for sperm motility and fertilization, the researchers say.
Interestingly, the sperm-boosting effects weren’t seen in guys who had healthy sperm—only those with poor-quality swimmers got an upgrade. More research needs to be done before any recommendations on using these drugs in an infertility setting can be made.
.: Men’s Health
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