The therapeutic range of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5) inhibitors is getting wider in the last years. This review study focuses on the potential employment of PDE5 inhibitors as an adjunct tool for the therapeutic management of male infertility. The literature tends to suggest a beneficial effect of PDE5 inhibitors on Leydig and Sertoli cells secretory function. It also appears that PDE5 inhibitors play a role in the regulation of the contractility of the testicular tunica albuginea and the epididymis. Moreover, scientific data suggest that PDE5 inhibitors enhance the prostatic secretory function leading to an improvement in sperm motility. Other studies additionally demonstrate the role of PDE5 inhibitors in the regulation of the sperm capacitation process. Placebo-controlled, randomized, blind studies are necessary to unambiguously incorporate PDE5 inhibitors as an adjunct tool for the pharmaceutical treatment of semen disorders and male infertility.
Keywords: Spermatozoa, testis, epididymis, phosphodiesterase, prostate, seminal vesicles, PDE5 inhibitors.