Current Urology Reports

, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp 432–436

The pathophysiology of varicocele-associated male infertility

Authors

  • Richard A. Schoor
    • Department of Urology/Andrology, Division of AndrologyUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
  • Samir M. Elhanbly
    • Department of Urology/Andrology, Division of AndrologyUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
  • Craig S. Niederberger
    • Department of Urology/Andrology, Division of AndrologyUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11934-001-0035-7

Cite this article as:
Schoor, R.A., Elhanbly, S.M. & Niederberger, C.S. Curr Urol Rep (2001) 2: 432. doi:10.1007/s11934-001-0035-7

Abstract

Varicocele is the most commonly identifiable, surgically correctable lesion associated with male-factor infertility. Surgical correction of a varicocele, whether unilateral or bilateral, results in improvement not only in semen parameters but also in spontaneous and assisted pregnancy rates. Varicoceles seem to induce a number of changes in the testicular microenvironment. These alterations in temperature, hemodynamics, and reactive oxidative species and antioxidant concentrations have been demon-strated to produce deleterious effects on spermatogenesis. However, despite current knowledge in the patho-physiology of varicocele-associated male infertility, the exact mechanism—or mechanisms—by which varicoceles impair fertility remains elusive. This review examines scientific evidence regarding the pathophysiology of varicocele-associated male infertility.

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2001