Does Varicocele Repair Improve Conventional Semen Parameters? A Meta-Analytic Study of Before-After Data

Widi Atmoko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this meta-analysis is to study the impact of varicocele repair in the largest cohort of infertile males with clinical varicocele by including all available studies, with no language restrictions, comparing intra-person conventional semen parameters before and after the repair of varicoceles.
Materials and Methods: The meta-analysis was performed according to PRISMA-P and MOOSE guidelines. A systematic search was performed in Scopus, PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases. Eligible studies were selected according to the PICOS model (Population: infertile male patients with clinical varicocele; Intervention: varicocele repair; Comparison: intra-person before-after varicocele repair; Outcome: conventional semen parameters; Study type: randomized controlled trials [RCTs], observational and case-control studies).
Results: Out of 1,632 screened abstracts, 351 articles (23 RCTs, 292 observational, and 36 case-control studies) were included in the quantitative analysis. The before-and-after analysis showed significant improvements in all semen parameters after varicocele repair (except sperm vitality); semen volume: standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.203, 95% CI: 0.129–0.278; p<0.001; I2=83.62%, Egger’s p=0.3329; sperm concentration: SMD 1.590, 95% CI: 1.474–1.706; p<0.001; I2=97.86%, Egger’s p<0.0001; total sperm count: SMD 1.824, 95% CI: 1.526–2.121; p<0.001; I2=97.88%, Egger’s p=0.0063; total motile sperm count: SMD 1.643, 95% CI: 1.318–1.968; p<0.001; I2=98.65%, Egger’s p=0.0003; progressive sperm motility: SMD 1.845, 95% CI: 1.537%–2.153%; p<0.001; I2=98.97%, Egger’s p<0.0001; total sperm motility: SMD 1.613, 95% CI 1.467%–1.759%; p<0.001; l2=97.98%, Egger’s p<0.001; sperm morphology: SMD 1.066, 95% CI 0.992%–1.211%; p<0.001; I2=97.87%, Egger’s p=0.1864.
Conclusions: The current meta-analysis is the largest to date using paired analysis on varicocele patients. In the current meta-analysis, almost all conventional semen parameters improved significantly following varicocele repair in infertile patients with clinical varicocele.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Men?s Health
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2023


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