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Hippokratia. 2007 Jul;11(3):99-104.

Male infertility and varicocele: myths and reality.

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Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Papageorgiou General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Varicocele is among the most common causes of male infertility. It is also one of the most controversial issues in the field of Andrology, especially regarding why, when and to whom varicocelectomy should be applied. Many experts believe that the surgical repair of varicocele should be applied only in a meticulously selected group of infertile men, although there are no generally accepted criteria. Up to now, the only confirmed prognostic factor for achievement of pregnancy after varicocelectomy is the age of the female partner. Given the wide application of intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) during the last few years, the modern research approaches should compare the benefits of varicocelectomy and ICSI, taking under consideration both the efficacy and the cost-effectiveness of the methods.


male infertility; pregnancy rate; semen parameters; surgical repair of varicocele; varicocele; varicocelectomy


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