Efavirenz effect on sperm quality
Mar 20, 2000
My husband and I are having the 'sperm-washing' treatment in an attempt to have children. He has not yet started on any drug therapy treatment but will be shortly. The hospital recommends that he be on the drug treatments during our fertility treatment. However, he will be starting on Efavirenz, Epivir and Abacavir. I am concerned - I have read about the side effects of Efavirenz on the foetuses of pregnant monkeys. Is there any research into the possible effects of this drug, and others on sperm and is there a risk of passing on birth defects should our fertility treatment work? THank you. ms. London, UK
Response from Dr. Henry
There is scant literature on the effect of any anti-HIV drug in sperm health. I would have no reservations whatsoever endorsing the treatment suggested by your HIV docs as outlined in your note. I have had couples in the same situation as yours and have made similar recommendations with good outcomes. Nothing is 100% but I seriously doubt that the efavirenz would pose any threat to the health of the sperm. More important will be simply making sure the drugs are taking properly and that they are working. The efavirenz effect in the monkey model is worth noting but again I am still comfortable with the plan you outlined. Good luck! Keith Henry, M.D.
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