Restricting sports activity in reducing the rate of varicocele and related infertility parameters in athletes
Nemanja Radojevic, Miroslav Radunovic, Bogdan Pajovic
Arch Med Sci 2015; 11, 1: 169–173
Introduction: The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that the cessation of sports training in young athletes reduces the prevalence of varicocele.
Material and methods: 1,013 young males were divided into three age-matched groups based on their sport activity. The first group consisted of 305 athletically active boys in basketball, volleyball, handball, or football; the second of 44 active water-polo players, and the third of 664 sport-inactive controls. All participants had been initially examined for the presence of varicocele, and positive ones were submitted to orchidometry and seminal fluid analysis. Those with varicocele were then asked to cease all sport activity for the following six months, and the reassessing was performed.
Results: The results showed a significantly higher percentage of varicocele present in the first group than in the control group (p < 0.49), while the percentage of young males diagnosed with varicocele in the second proved to be even lower than that of the control group (9.09% vs. 12.35%). After the 6-month period of cessation and abstention from all sporting activity, every parameter of the seminal fluid analysis improved in the first group, wherein statistical significance for both sperm concentration (p < 0.001) and sperm motility (p < 0.023) was found. The testicular volume was found not to have increased significantly in either group (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: The study shows that sport-associated varicocele has a positive prognosis when diagnosed early and upon the cessation of sports training.
varicocele, infertility, seminal fluid analysis, orchidometry, sport, basketball, handball, football, volleyball