Microsurgical varicocelectomy efficacy in treatment of men with primary and secondary infertility (retrospective study)

Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2024 Feb 16;96(1):12082. doi: 10.4081/aiua.2024.12082.


Introduction and objectives: Varicocele is the most common treatable cause of male infertility. The study aimed to compare varicocelectomy efficacy in men with primary (PI) and secondary infertility (SI).

Patients and methods: Medical records of 100 men suffering from PI and SI and having varicocelectomy at the Republican Specialized Scientific-Practical Medical Center of Urology were retrospectively selected and analyzed. Patients were divided into 2 groups. Group I included 58 men with PI and Group II 42 men with SI. Preoperative clinical characteristics and semen parameters before and after varicocelectomy were analyzed and compared between groups.

Results: Analysis revealed that the mean age of patients of group I was significantly lower (p<0.001) and the duration of infertility was accurately shorter (p<0.01) than those of group II. Main semen parameters increased significantly in group I (e.g., sperm concentration increased by 50%, from 62.2 ± 8.7 to 93.5 ± 10.0 M/ml, and total motile sperm count increased by 113%, from 76.7±17.1 to 163.4±27.8 M p<0.05), while in group II only rate of progressive motile sperm increased significantly (by 107%, from 13.5± .6 to 28.0±5.2% p<0.05). We identified a significant difference in varicocelectomy efficacy between group I and group II in change of total motile sperm count (by 113% vs 74% respectively, p<0.01). We also revealed a discrepancy between groups in correlation ratio (r) between initial and post-surgical percent of progressive motile sperm.

Conclusions: Patients with SI were older and had longer infertility period. Varicocelectomy resulted in significant semen parameters improvement in patients with PI. In patients with SI, only a percent of progressively motile sperm improved significantly. It indicates that advanced male age and long infertility duration may have a negative impact on varicocelectomy success.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male* / etiology
  • Infertility, Male* / surgery
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / adverse effects
  • Microsurgery / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen
  • Semen Analysis
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Varicocele* / complications
  • Varicocele* / surgery