Treatment for Infertile Men Looks Promising

Varicocele embolization helps men most who already have good sperm motility

TUESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- For infertile men with varicoceles, embolization improves sperm count and motility and may aid in pregnancy, researchers report in the August issue of Radiology.

Sebastian Flacke, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the University of Bonn Medical School in Bonn, Germany, performed endovascular embolization of the spermatic veins in 223 infertile men with varicoceles and associated oligoteratoasthenospermia.

The researchers found that 92.4 percent of men had resolution of varicoceles. However, although there was a significant improvement in sperm count and motility at three months, the average values were still in the abnormal range. Pregnancy was reported in 26 percent of 173 men with follow-up data, with baseline sperm motility identified as the only significant independent predictor of successful pregnancy.

"Sperm motility prior to varicocele treatment in infertile men is an important predictor of later pregnancy," Flacke and colleagues conclude.

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