JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Bilateral is superior to unilateral varicocelectomy in infertile males with left clinical and right subclinical varicocele: a prospective randomized controlled study.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of bilateral versus unilateral varicocelectomy on seminal response and spontaneous pregnancy rates in infertile male patients with left clinical and right subclinical varicocele.

METHODS: A total of 358 infertile men with left clinical and right subclinical varicocele were randomized to group that underwent bilateral (n = 179) and group that underwent unilateral microsurgical subinguinal varicocelectomy (n = 179). Baseline data regarding male age, female partner age, grade of varicocele body mass index, bilateral testicular volume and serum follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, total testosterone levels and infertility duration and semen parameters were gathered. One year after the surgery, semen parameters including sperm volume, sperm concentration, normal sperm morphology, progressive motility and sperm DNA fragmentation index were recorded and any pregnancy was also documented via telephone calls and hospital visits.

RESULTS: We found the baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. The seminal parameters had significant improvements 1 year postoperatively in both groups. However, the bilateral group showed significantly greater improvements than the unilateral group in sperm concentration, normal sperm morphology and progressive motility. Besides, the pregnancy rate was statistically higher in the bilateral group after the surgery (42.5 versus 26.0%, bilateral versus unilateral group).

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our study indicated that bilateral is superior to unilateral varicocelectomy in infertile males with left clinical and right subclinical varicocele, which is associated with greater improvements in sperm concentration, normal sperm morphology and progressive motility and spontaneous pregnancy rate after the surgery.

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