Clinical outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection in infertile men with treated and untreated clinical varicocele

J Urol. 2010 Oct;184(4):1442-6. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


Purpose: We evaluated the impact of varicocelectomy on intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes in infertile men with clinical varicocele.

Materials and methods: We studied 242 infertile men with a history of clinical varicocele who underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Of the men 80 underwent prior subinguinal microsurgical varicocelectomy (treated group 1) and 162 had any grade of clinical varicocele (untreated group 2) at sperm injection. We compared semen analysis results before and after varicocelectomy, and the sperm injection procedure outcomes. Mean time from surgery to sperm injection was 6.2 months. Logistic regression was done to verify whether varicocelectomy influenced the odds of clinical pregnancy, live birth and miscarriage.

Results: We noted an improved total number of motile sperm (6.7 × 10(6) vs 15.4 × 10(6), p <0.01) and a decreased sperm defect score (2.2 vs 1.9, p = 0.01) after vs before varicocele repair. The clinical pregnancy (60.0% vs 45.0%, p = 0.04) and live birth (46.2% vs 31.4%, p = 0.03) rates after the sperm injection procedure were higher in the treated than in the untreated group. The chance of achieving clinical pregnancy (OR 1.82; 95% CI 1.06-3.15) and live birth (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.08-3.25) by the sperm injection procedure were significantly increased while the chance of miscarriage was decreased (OR 0.433, 95% CI 0.22-0.84) after varicocele was treated.

Conclusions: Results suggest that varicocelectomy improves clinical pregnancy and live birth rates by intracytoplasmic sperm injection in infertile couples in which the male partner has clinical varicocele. The chance of miscarriage may be decreased if varicocele is treated before assisted reproduction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male* / etiology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy / statistics & numerical data
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*
  • Varicocele* / complications
  • Varicocele* / therapy