Objective: To observe the pregnancy promoting effect of L-carnitine combined with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in treating male infertility with oligoasthenozoospermia.
Methods: We assigned 129 patients with oligoasthenozoospermia to receive 2 weeks of oral L-carnitine followed by ICSI (medication group, n = 42) and ICSI alone (control group, n = 87). We compared the sperm concentration and motility, the percentage of grade a + b sperm, and sperm deformity before and after L-carnitine medication, as well as the rates of fertilization, cleavage, available embryo and clinical pregnancy between the two groups.
Results: The percentage of grade a + b sperm was significantly increased after L-carnitine medication as compared with the baseline ([13.5 +/- 10.7] % vs [9.6 +/- 7.2] %, P<0.05), and so was the rate of available embryo in the medication group after ICSI in comparison with that of the control group (77.50% vs 69.04%, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Short-term medication of L-carnitine can improve sperm quality and raise the success rate of ICSI.