EAU Working Group on Male Infertility. European Association of Urology Guidelines on Male Infertility: the 2012 Update
EMCO Private Clinic, Bad Dürrnberg, Austria. European Urology
(Impact Factor: 13.94).
05/2012; 62(2):324-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2012.04.048
CONTEXT: New data regarding the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility have emerged and led to an update of the European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines for Male Infertility. OBJECTIVE: To review the new EAU guidelines for Male Infertility. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A comprehensive work-up of the literature obtained from Medline, the Cochrane Central Register of Systematic Reviews, and reference lists in publications and review articles was developed and screened by a group of urologists and andrologists appointed by the EAU Guidelines Committee. Previous recommendations based on the older literature on this subject were taken into account. Levels of evidence and grade of guideline recommendations were added, modified from the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine Levels of Evidence. EVIDENCE SUMMARY: These EAU guidelines are a short comprehensive overview of the updated guidelines of male infertility as recently published by the EAU (http://www.uroweb.org/guidelines/online-guidelines/), and they are also available in the National Guideline Clearinghouse (http://www.guideline.gov/).
Available from: PubMed Central
- "In the past, the European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines stated that tamoxifen plus testosterone undecanoate appears to be an effective therapy for idiopathic male infertility . However, this recommendation was absent in the most recently published EAU guidelines . Other small randomized trials using combinations of hormonal therapy and antioxidants (anti-estrogen, clomiphene with an antioxidant, L-carnitine or vitamin E) have shown a beneficial effect on sperm parameters and pregnancy rates [65,66]. "
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ABSTRACT: Male factors account for 20%-50% of cases of infertility and in 25% of cases, the etiology of male infertility is unknown. Effective treatments are well-established for hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, male accessory gland infection, retrograde ejaculation, and positive antisperm antibody. However, the appropriate treatment for idiopathic male infertility is unclear. Empirical medical treatment (EMT) has been used in men with idiopathic infertility and can be divided into two categories based on the mode of action: hormonal treatment and antioxidant supplementation. Hormonal medications consist of gonadotropins, androgens, estrogen receptor blockers, and aromatase inhibitors. Antioxidants such as vitamins, zinc, and carnitines have also been widely used to reduce oxidative stress-induced spermatozoa damage. Although scientifically acceptable evidence of EMT is limited because of the lack of large, randomized, controlled studies, recent systematic reviews with meta-analyses have shown that the administration of gonadotropins, anti-estrogens, and oral antioxidants results in a significant increase in the live birth rate compared with control treatments. Therefore, all physicians who treat infertility should bear in mind that EMT can improve semen parameters and subsequent fertility potential through natural intercourse.
Available from: Ahmed Mahmoud Al Adl
- "A varicocele is the pathological dilatation of spermatic veins and is found in %15% of all adult males , in 11.7% of men with a normal semen analysis and in 25.4% of men with abnormal semen values , and it is considered to be the most frequent correctable cause in 14.8% of infertile men . Surgical ligation of the spermatic vein is the generally accepted treatment, when semen quality usually improves afterwards, as shown in a recent meta-analysis , and with reversal of any DNA damage . "
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of antisperm antibodies (ASAs), hormonal levels, intratesticular haemodynamics and the surgical approach on the outcomes of varicocelectomy in infertile men, as assessed by seminal variables.
In a prospective case-series study, 82 infertile men with varicocele (35 left and 47 bilateral) were evaluated. The preoperative assessment included a physical examination, semen analysis, assessment of ASAs in seminal plasma, hormonal levels (follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone and testosterone), and scrotal colour Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS) to measure the peak systolic velocity (PSV), end diastolic velocity (EDV), resistive index (RI) and pulsatility index. Patients were scheduled for varicocelectomy, with high ligation (Palomo) used in 40 patients (18, 45%, with left and 22, 55%, with bilateral varicocele), or an inguinal approach (Ivanissivich) with loupe magnification used in 42 (17, 40%, with left and 25, 60%, with bilateral varicocele). The men were reassessed at ⩾3 months after surgery and according to the improvement in seminal variables (expressed as a ⩾50% increase in total motile sperm count, TMSC), patients were further categorised into 'improved' or 'unimproved'. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the predictors of improvement.
Before surgery the ASAs were positive in 17 men (21%). There was no significant difference between the right and left sides in intratesticular haemodynamics. The TMSC was improved in 52 (63%) patients who had a significant improvement in the haemodynamic variables. Intratesticular haemodynamics, serum FSH and testosterone levels differed significantly between the improved and unimproved patients. Positivity for ASAs, the surgical approach and laterality of the varicocele were not significantly different, although the ASA-positive cases were characterised by a significant decrease in motility. Logistic regression analysis showed that the EDV, PSV, FSH, testosterone level and bilateral testicular volume (BTV) were significant predictors of improvement.
Positivity for ASAs is not a predictor of the outcome after varicocelectomy but affects only the motile fraction in positive cases, despite the improvement in other seminal variables and testicular haemodynamics, and regardless of the surgical approach. The EDV, PSV, FSH, testosterone and BTV were significant predictors of a successful outcome.
Available from: Yves Menezo
- "The role of the male factor in couples’ infertility is difficult to quantify as it can be masked by the variable fertility of the female partner. However, according to the latest guidelines of the European Association of Urology
, a male-infertility-associated factor is found together with abnormal semen parameters in 50% of involuntarily childless couples; in 30-40% of cases no male-infertility-associated factor is found (idiopathic male infertility). "
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ABSTRACT: Sperm chromatin structure is often impaired; mainly due to oxidative damage. Antioxidant treatments do not consistently produce fertility improvements and, when given at high doses, they might block essential oxidative processes such as chromatin compaction. This study was intended to assess the effect on male sub-fertility of a pure one carbon cycle nutritional support without strong antioxidants.
Male partners of couples resistant to at least 2 assisted reproductive technology (ART) attempts, with no evidence of organic causes of infertility and with either DNA fragmentation index (DFI) measured by Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling (TUNEL) or nuclear decondensation index (SDI) measured by aniline blue staining exceeding 20%, were invited to take part in a trial of a nutritional support in preparation for a further ART attempt. The treatment consisted of a combination of B vitamins, zinc, a proprietary opuntia fig extract and small amounts of N-acetyl-cysteine and Vitamin E (Condensyl™), all effectors of the one carbon cycle.
84 patients were enrolled, they took 1 or 2 Condensyl™ tablets per day for 2 to 12 months. Positive response rates were 64.3% for SDI, 71.4% for DFI and 47.6% for both SDI and DFI. Eighteen couples (21%) experienced a spontaneous pregnancy before the planned ART cycle, all ended with a live birth. The remaining 66 couples underwent a new ART attempt (4 IUI; 18 IVF; 44 ICSI) resulting in 22 further clinical pregnancies and 15 live births. The clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and the live birth rate (LBR) were 47.6% and 39.3% respectively. The full responders, i.e. the 40 patients achieving an improvement of both SDI and DFI, reported a CPR of 70% and a LBR of 57.5% (p < 0.001).
Nutritional support of the one carbon cycle without strong antioxidants improves both the SDI and the DFI in ART resistant male partners and results in high pregnancy rates suggesting a positive effect on their fertility potential.
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