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Association between Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Abnormalities in Semen Parameters and Sexual Function: A Pilot Study.

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting patients of reproductive age. Although HS shares risk factors with male infertility, only 1 epidemiological study has evaluated this association. To further evaluate this potential association, findings on semen and hormonal analysis, testicular ultrasound, and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15) were compared between 28 men attending a tertiary HS clinic during the period April 2019 to April 2021, and 44 healthy controls, spouses of infertile women undergoing semen evaluation before in vitro fertilization. Patients with HS were divided based on the absence or presence of gluteal and genital lesions. Patients with HS were younger than controls (median 27 vs 34 years, p < 0.0004) and had a higher proportion of smokers (86% vs 33%, p < 0.0001). Semen parameters in patients with gluteal-genital lesions, specifically those with severe scrotal involvement necessitating surgery, were lower than the WHO reference values and significantly lower than in patients without gluteal-genital lesions and controls. Erectile dysfunction was reported by 93% of patients with HS. These findings suggest that spermatogenesis and sexual function may be impaired in young men with HS. Therefore, multidisciplinary management of HS should include their evaluation to identify patients who might benefit from semen cryopreservation and sexual treatment.

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