The prognosis for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease that mainly affects women in their reproductive years, has improved recently, prompting a shift toward improving quality of life. For men with SLE, concerns have been raised about their future fertility. However, no studies have been conducted to date on testes function and its relevance to sperm abnormalities in male SLE patients. A new study published in the July 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism examined gonad function in male SLE patients and found that they have a high frequency of sperm abnormalities associated with reduced testicular volume. In addition, the study identified intravenous treatment with the immunosuppressant cyclophosphamide (IV CYC) as the major factor in permanent damage to the testes.