A total of 40 infertile men with a normal physical examination underwent gonadal venography to determine the presence of a subclinical varicocele. Of the patients 19 had a left and 3 had a right subclinical varicocele. A total of 21 patients underwent radiographic occlusion of the varicoceles, while 1 required surgical ligation of the internal spermatic vein. Of the 22 patients 13 have been followed for greater than 6 months after correction of the varicocele. In these patients there has been a small but significant increase in sperm number after varicocele occlusion. No significant changes in either sperm motility or morphology have occurred. Although most patients do not have any major improvement after occlusion of a subclinical varicocele, some may experience a significant improvement in sperm number after occlusion. The effect on pregnancy rates is not yet known.
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