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Enclomiphene and Testosterone: What Studies Say

Enclomiphene and Testosterone: What Studies Say
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 6 min read

With so many treatments for low testosterone on the market, many men with hypogonadism turn to the fan favorite, enclomiphene.  

Designed to treat men with hypogonadism, enclomiphene is quite effective in helping men restore testosterone levels, so they are within normal range. 

One study by PubMed studied enclomiphene’s ability to restore hormone levels. This study researched dosages of enclomiphene and found interesting results. This study found that enclomiphene citrate increases luteinizing hormone (LH). In fact, enclomiphene increased LH levels so they were above normal range.

According to Endocrine Web, enclomiphene is sometimes used off-label to trigger follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Another study followed 113 men who were treated with enclomiphene for three months. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that 73 men completed the study and provided a semen sample for analysis.

Those who participated in the treatment saw a significant increase in testosterone when compared with those who received a placebo. Statistically, there were no differences between the two groups of men in terms of testosterone. However, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in male participants both increased. Participants who received enclomiphene also found that their testosterone levels increased significantly.

FSH and LH levels decreased in men who received topical testosterone. Topical testosterone is a prescription medication that you apply to the skin. Topical testosterone is effective in treating hypogonadism, according to Healthline.  

Enclomiphene citrate is used to replenish the body’s own testosterone production. It also helps maintain your sperm count. But how does enclomiphene increase testosterone? Enclomiphene increases testosterone levels by increasing LH and FSH levels, while also blocking estrogen. 

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) does this as well. However, TRT presents the risk for acne and testicular shrinkage. If you’re okay with this, you may consider TRT as a possible treatment. Enclomiphene is a non-steroidal selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). This means that it mimics the effects of estrogen on certain bodily tissues. However, it blocks estrogen from affecting other tissues. 

One of the greatest benefits of SERMs is the fact that the estrogen they contain works on the bones, which prevents bone loss, reduces the chances of vertebra fractures, and “improves bone mineral density (BMD).” SERMs like enclomiphene are also effective in treating and preventing osteoporosis. 

Studies have found that enclomiphene begins to show results within two weeks of starting treatment. All dosages of enclomiphene have been found to increase testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism. However, placebos have not been found to yield measurable results. 

According to experts, men who take enclomiphene to boost testosterone often find that they have a stronger libido. However, acne and a temper are also potential side effects of enclomiphene. 

Men are often prescribed one of two dosages of enclomiphene. Some will take 12.5 milligrams, while others may take 25 milligrams of this medication. The 12.5 and 25 milligram dosages have been found to significantly raise testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism. Enclomiphene has other possible side effects, so you may experience other problems.

Developing a temper is one of the most concerning side effects of this medication. However, many men take it, because of its positive effects. But how exactly does enclomiphene work? 

According to experts, enclomiphene works by raising serum testosterone levels. Additionally, it improves a man’s testosterone/estradiol ratio.  One study evaluated the effectiveness of enclomiphene citrate in treating hypogonadism. Carried out in 2005, this study found that enclomiphene citrate is extremely effective in raising testosterone levels and improving overall health.

The median age of participants in this study was 39 years. Studies have also identified enclomiphene as an effective treatment for certain other conditions. Enclomiphene is also often used to maintain sperm levels in men with secondary hypogonadism. 

After two weeks of treatment with enclomiphene, most men in this study found that their total testosterone levels were dependent upon the dosage of enclomiphene they took. Studies assert that testosterone levels are typically the highest in the morning. Because of this, experts recommend checking testosterone levels at this time. This is especially important if you are trying to determine if you have an androgen deficiency.

Many studies have found that testosterone levels are dependent upon the time blood is taken. While testosterone levels are higher in the morning, they may be lower at other times of the day. This also will depend on a man’s age. Older men typically have lower testosterone levels than their younger counterparts. 

Although enclomiphene has many positive effects on testosterone, this medication also comes with other side effects. Many men experience mood swings, hot flashes, abdominal pain, nausea, and breast tenderness when taking this medication. You can take enclomiphene for up to six cycles. Experts feel that this provides adequate time to determine if you are responding positively to this medication.

 What are the most common side effects of enclomiphene? Experts say that pelvic or stomach pain and bloating are quite common for those who take this medication. You should consult with your doctor if you experience any less common and serious side effects of this medication. Serious side effects of enclomiphene include double or blurred vision, visual sensitivity to light, and seeing flashes of light.

Other less common or rare side effects may include headache, dizziness, depression, nervousness, or restlessness. Another side effect of enclomiphene is trouble sleeping. These side effects are different for everyone. Enclomiphene is tolerated well by most people. Many side effects are temporary and mild.

Roughly one to 10 percent of those taking enclomiphene will experience floaters, photophobia, and diplopia. Photophobia is a sensitivity to light. 

Enclomiphene in itself triggers the body to produce testosterone. It also prevents oligospermia or a low sperm count. With enclomiphene, there is also a potential for retinal hemorrhage, optic neuritis, and retinal vascular spasm. Enclomiphene also comes with some cardiovascular side effects. These include the following:

Some severe and long-lasting problems may also appear. According to experts, there is also a potential to develop muscular defects, liver cell adenoma, and hepatic hemangiosarcoma. A study conducted by Fertility and Sterility found that men with hypogonadism who received enclomiphene citrate saw higher morning testosterone levels.

A normal morning testosterone level typically falls between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. You can get a testosterone test if you would like to know what your testosterone levels are. This is a blood test that measures the total amount of testosterone in your blood. The majority of testosterone in your blood is bonded with a protein known as “sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).” 

There is another blood test that measures free testosterone. However, this test is not accurate and can be misleading. How is a testosterone test performed?

According to experts, blood is drawn from a vein. This test is most accurate when taken between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. If the results of this test are lower than one may have expected, a second test may be administered to verify the accuracy of your results. You may need to stop taking medications that can impact this test.

Your healthcare provider may recommend this test if you exhibit signs of abnormal male hormone production. Signs of abnormal male hormone production include:

Studies have found that enclomiphene citrate can have a number of effects on the male body. Enclomiphene has been found to increase testicle size in men, while those taking testosterone gel saw a decrease in testicle size. Studies have found that, in addition to increasing serum testosterone, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is just as effective in raising testosterone levels.

Studies have also found that enclomiphene citrate significantly lowers cholesterol levels. There was a time when the FDA banned enclomiphene, because they did not think increasing testosterone was a valid reason to bring a non-steroidal testosterone therapy to the market. 

While enclomiphene is widely used to boost testosterone levels in hypogonadal men, athletes are not allowed to use it. Enclomiphene has the classification as an S4 Category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulator. According to the Wiley Library, one study found that the average concentration of enclomiphene at day 42 of a study was 604.

Enclomiphene has been proven effective across all studies. However, it is not for everyone. Enclomiphene is bad for bodybuilding, and experts highly discourage bodybuilders from using it. 

Many bodybuilders have used enclomiphene to boost endurance, and many bodybuilders have used it for years to get the type of body they want. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to bulk up, but you have to be careful about putting the wrong substances into your body. Enclomiphene antagonizes “the estrogen receptor,” which is found in the pituitary gland. This reduces negative feedback that comes from estrogen.

As a SERM medication, enclomiphene has many benefits, including its ability to boost overall testosterone. However, be careful to evaluate your own situation and determine if it is right for you. In many ways, enclomiphene is a miracle drug that is often used off-label.  

 

 

25 Sources

Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.