Varicocele-induced infertility: Newer insights into its pathophysiology

Department of Urology, Division of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
Indian Journal of Urology 01/2011; 27(1):58-64. DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.78428
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The association between varicoceles and male infertility has been known since the 1950s; however, the pathophysiology of the process remains uncertain. The primary proposed hypotheses involve hyperthermia, venous pressure, testicular blood flow, hormonal imbalance, toxic substances, and reactive oxygen species. It is difficult to identify a single or dominant factor, and it is likely that many of these factors contribute to the infertile phenotype seen in clinical practice. Moreover, patient lifestyle and genetic factors likely affect patient susceptibilities to the varicocele insult. While the current studies have weaknesses, they provide building blocks for futures studies into the pathophysiology of the varicocele.

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