Varicocoele treatment and fertility
Treating a common condition known as varicocoele in men that can result in infertility does not appear to boost a couple's chances of conceiving a child, according to researchers.
Researchers at the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands and University in Hamilton, Canada reviewed seven previously published studies to see whether varicocoele repair increased a female partner's chances of getting pregnant. When the data from the studies were combined, the researchers identified 61 pregnancies among 281 couples in which the man underwent the varicocoele surgery and 50 pregnancies among 259 untreated couples. Men who got the treatment had only a one percent increase in their chances of conceiving a child with their partner compared to men who did not undergo the surgery. They did not find sufficient evidence to conclude that treatment of a clinical varicocoele in couples with male sub-fertility improves the likelihood of conception. There is a need for continuing research on varicocoele treatment which is marginally effective in a selected group of men. However continued research on the matter "seems unlikely" due to the increasing availability of an In vitro fertilization (IVF), technique in which a single sperm is injected into an egg. Studies should compare varicocoele treatment with IVF, taking into considerations the costs of the procedures and the patients' preferences.
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