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[Recommendations of the Committee of Andrology and Sexual Medicine of the AFU concerning the management of Varicocele].

The diagnosis of varicocele is clinical, carried out in supine and standing position and in Valsalva maneuver. Only clinical varicoceles have to be treated. A scrotal ultrasound with Doppler is generally performed as part of the infertile man's evaluation or in case of examination difficulties. The main indication for varicocele treatment is the adult man with clinical varicocele and abnormalities of sperm parameters, in a context of infertility of couple, with a partner having a satisfactory ovarian reserve and no cause of female infertility or a curable infertility cause. The decision to treat varicocele must therefore be taken after evaluation of the two partners of the couple. Adults with symptomatic varicocele and those with spermogram abnormalities may also be offered a cure for their varicocele even in the absence of a paternity plan, as well as adolescents with reduced testicular growth, an ipsilateral decrease testicular volume, or a size gradient between the 2 testes. The cure of varicocele can be carried out by surgery or by percutaneous embolization. Microsurgery (inguinal or subinguinal) offers lower rates of recurrence and complications than high surgical approaches (laparoscopic or not) and surgeries without magnification. It is therefore the reference surgical technique. Percutaneous retrograde embolization is a minimally invasive alternative to microsurgery offering satisfactory outcomes with rare and often benign complications. The cure for varicocele results in an improvement in sperm parameters and recent data seem to confirm that it increases the natural pregnancy rate. These results appear after a delay of 3 to 9 months (at least 1 to 2 cycles of spermatogenesis). When the sperm involvement was severe (azoospermia, severe oligospermia), the improvement of the spermogram allow (1) to avoid surgery testicular sperm extraction or (2) perform intrauterine insemination rather than ICSI.

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