Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
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The contemporary role of varicocele repair: why operate when in-vitro fertilization results are so good?

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: A male factor is either the primary cause or is contributory in at least half of all couples with infertility. Currently, many male factor problems may be disregarded, as reproductive technology has advanced so much that in-vitro fertilization (IVF)/Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) allows the use of even a single sperm to achieve pregnancy.

RECENT FINDINGS: Varicocele is the most commonly diagnosed correctable cause. Microsurgical repair is considered the gold standard for repair. Research has shown that varicocele repair can impact the outcome of reproductive management and upgrade male infertility from adoption or donor sperm only to IVF/ICSI and microTESE, or IVF/ICSI with ejaculated sperm, or from IVF/ICSI to intrauterine insemination (IUI) or often naturally conceived.

SUMMARY: Varicocele diagnosis and repair is an essential part of infertility evaluation. Not only does it potentially impact antiretroviral therapy choices, but it can also increase testosterone levels benefiting long-term male health.

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