New aspects of the role of varicocele in male infertility

Kantartzi PD, Goulis DG, Papadimas I

Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Papageorgiou hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Correspondence: Goulis Dimitrios, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Papageorgiou hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-56403 Thessaloniki. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Varicocele is a very common finding among infertile men and one of the most controversial issues in the field of Andrology. The aim of the present study was to analyze the epidemiological, clinical, hormonal findings and sperm parameters in men with varicocele and to evaluate the changes in sperm parameters after varicocelectomy. We accessed medical records of 925 men that were examined in the outpatient infertility clinic between 1991-2005; 429 of them having either a clinical varicocele or a surgically repaired varicocele were included in the study. In 64% of men varicocele was the only cause of infertility, whereas in 36% other additional causes were found. Statistically significant differences were found between men with varicocele only and those with INOA plus varicocele, regarding testicular volume, sperm parameters and FSH levels. In addition, subgroup analysis in men with varicocele only revealed that Sperm Index was the only parameter that showed statistically significant elevation after varicocelectomy. In conclusion, surgical repair does not seem to be generally effective, thus it should be applied only in a meticulously selected group of infertile men.

Key words: varicocele; male infertility; varicocelectomy, varicocele repair