Systematic Lupus Erythematosus In Men, Its Symptoms, Causes And Possible Treatment

Systematic Lupus Erthematosus or SLE is a disorder that generally affects young women. It is also known as “lupus”. It can be fatal in its severe stage. The common symptoms of SLE are painful joints, extreme fatigue, skin rash, and kidney damage. Females are more prone to become infertile due to this severe disorder.

There is a misconception among people that SLE only occurs females during their reproductive years. The fact is not true because it can equally affect males too. However, it is more common in women than in men. In 10 cases of SLE patients, 9 will be females. Few more facts regarding this disease are listed below-

  • It is an autoimmune disease, which results in inflammation and damage of tissue in the body.
  • It is chronic, which exist throughout your life.
  • SLE is not contagious.
  • Lupus is unlike cancer or HIV AIDS.
  • It may be life threatening or could be mild.
  • Non-threatening lupus could be easily cured with regular treatment under a good doctor.

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Infertility and SLE

Women- It has been noticed that women with SLE have increased rate of infertility or they have premature birth and spontaneous abortion.

Men- Males with SLE have lower level of specific androgen and testosterone. They also had a lower level of testicular volume, lower sperm motility and sperm count and lower percentage of normal sperm. However, it does not mean that they are less masculine or have dysfunction erectile (impotence). Researchers after an in-depth research have stated that the medications used during the treatment of SLE may be the reason behind infertility in men. It was tough for them to decide the type of SLE that lead to infertility in men. Thus, they suggested to store and freeze the sperm of those patients in the early stage of SLE.

What could trigger SLE in men?

The actual cause of SLE has not yet been found, but studies have proved that cigarette smoking could increase the causes of developing SLE. To know the actual cause of SLE in men, a group of 35 men with SLE were studied. Observation showed that men with SLE had abnormal semen. They were divided into two groups i.e., one group consisted of men with abnormal sperm morphology and another group consisted of men with abnormal morphology or no sperm, lower sperm count and low mobility. After investigation, it was noticed that men in group 2 underwent higher frequency of IV CYC treatment than group 1. Men in group 2 also had higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormones.

Researchers state that if IV CYC Treatment is given after puberty, it can lead to permanent sperm damage, and semen alterations. Higher level of Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) was also found in men in group two, which suggested testicular damage.

Treatment of SLE

Patients with non-threatening lupus could be treated by rheumatologists, who are specialized in diseases related to the immune system, and joint complications. Along with them, the patient must consult other specialists such as dermatologists, nephrologists, cardiologists, neurologists, as SLE affects multiple organs in our body.

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