The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of the acupuncture treatment on sperm parameters and pregnancy rates in patients with primary infertility. Between January 2008 and May 2010, 30 men with the primary infertility (one year of unprotected intercourse, healthy wife) and varicocele with normal hormone levels and abnormal semen analysis were randomised into two groups. Group 1 underwent subinguinal microscopic varicocelectomy, and Group 2 underwent acupuncture treatment twice a week for 2 months. Both groups were evaluated with semen analysis at 6 months after the treatment. Patients in both groups evaluated with telephone calls and e-mail in terms of pregnancy. The mean age of the patients was 27.2, and groups were comparable regarding the age (P = 0.542). The pre-treatment sperm concentration, motility and morphological characteristics were similar in both groups. Sperm concentration and motility improved significantly in both groups after the treatment. Increase in sperm concentration was higher in the acupuncture group compared to the varicocelectomy group (P = 0.039). The average follow-up was 42 months, and pregnancy rates were emphasised 33% in both groups. Acupuncture treatment in primary infertile varicocele patients with semen abnormalities seems to be effective and has comparable results with the varicocelectomy treatment.
Keywords: Acupuncture; infertility; oligozoospermia; pregnancy; varicocele.
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