Varicoceles represent a common correctable etiology of subfertility in men, present in approximately 40% of men with primary infertility. Varicoceles may be addressed with a specialized operation that uses an operative microscope to divide the dilated veins. While it has been established that most men will have improved semen parameters following surgery for varicoceles, few studies exist characterizing when to expect this improvement.

Dr Luke Machen recently published a study addressing this topic. In the study, 69.4% of the patients who underwent surgery for varicoceles had at least a 50% improvement in the number of total progressive motile sperm, which is a measure of high quality, swimming sperm. Of the patients who improved, 95.7% did so by 6 months after surgery.

Another interesting finding in the study was that men who had an improvement of at least 50% in their total progressive sperm counts were over 5x more likely to achieve pregnancy either spontaneously or with the help of intra-uterine inseminations. Click here to read the study.

 

To Learn More

All varicocele repairs are not created equal: what to know before you have your varicocele repaired

Varicoceles can induce severe testicular injury resulting in sperm counts of zero with Sertoli Cell only

Why Men Should Choose Microsurgical Repair of Varicoceles Over Embolization