There is great controversy over varicocele repair and overall impact on pregnancy rate and fertility among men diagnosed infertile. Researchers in Italy chose to review all previous and current studies in an attempt to answer the question of efficacy once and for all.
The study authors reviewed randomized controlled trials in addition to prospective studies. They found clinical evidence that varicocele repair improved fertility health, particularly sperm motility, concentration and morphology. These three factors play an important part in spontaneous pregnancy.
Two specific studies were noted. The first showed a strong correlation between varicocele repair and spontaneous pregnancy rate with an overall increase in pregnancies of 30% after repair. The second focused on varicocele repair for couples with a history of recurrent first-term miscarriage with positive results.
Conclusion: Varicocele repair is an effective alternative to assisted reproductive technology for spontaneous pregnancy. Repair could also be an option for infertile men who are not currently interested in parenting, but may want to have children in the future.
Source: Ficarra V, Crestani A, Novara G, Mirone V. Varicocele repair for infertility: what is the evidence? Curr Opin Urol. 2012 Sep 28.