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Semen and reproductive hormone parameters in fertile men with and without varicocele.

Authors
  • Redmon, J Bruce1
  • Drobnis, Erma Z2
  • Sparks, Amy3
  • Wang, Christina4
  • Swan, Shanna H5
  • 1 Department of Medicine and Urologic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • 2 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
  • 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
  • 4 Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, CA, USA.
  • 5 Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Andrologia
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
51
Issue
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/and.13407
PMID: 31448444
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although varicoceles are a widely accepted identifiable male factor in infertile couples, the benefit of varicocele repair in improving pregnancy and live birth rates remains uncertain. The Study for Future Families obtained semen and reproductive hormone samples from US men whose partners were currently pregnant. In our analysis cohort of 709 men, a varicocele was detected by clinical examination in 56 (8%) of men. Men with varicocele had smaller left testis, and lower total and total motile sperm counts than men without varicocele. Gonadotropin levels were higher as well in men with varicocele. Interestingly, testosterone levels were also slightly higher in men with varicocele. Despite these differences, there was no difference between the groups in the time to achieve the study pregnancy or percentage of men with a previous pregnancy. We conclude that even in fertile men, varicoceles are associated with some degree of testicular hypofunction. This would support current recommendations to consider varicocele repair in male partners in infertile couples who demonstrate both a varicocele and abnormal semen parameters and after evaluation for treatable female factors. © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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