The researchers examined the semen of twenty men who had recently been diagnosed with rheumatism and who had not yet started methotrexate. Then the seed was tested again after they had used it for three months.
The genetic material in the sperm cell and the motility of the cells were not damaged.
According to the research group, this is good news because fertile men with rheumatism have often been told not to use methotrexate if they are trying to have children.
The study also shows that only a very low concentration of methotrexate can be found in the sperm cells. Minimal concentrations were found in the fluid of the semen. This is because methotrexate cannot accumulate in sperm cells – unlike other body cells.
Therapy with methotrexate is therefore safe for men with rheumatism and a desire to have children, the researchers conclude.
It is expected that the results of this study will contribute to the future adjustment of guidelines for the use of methotrexate in men who wish to have children.
The researchers also emphasize that follow-up studies are needed in men who have been using methotrexate for some time, as well as prospective studies into the pregnancies of the partners of men who use methotrexate.
The researchers also hope that rheumatologists and men with rheumatism will use the results to discuss sexuality and a desire to have children in the consulting room.
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