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How will a varicocele affect my semen analysis?

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It used to be thought that a varicocele would result in a stress pattern that would appear in the semen analysis (i.e. a decreased percentage of moving sperm or sperm with abnormally shaped heads). Recent studies conclude that varicoceles affect virtually all of the parameters in a semen analysis (i.e., the concentration, motility, forward progression and morphology). The varicoceles also effect the functioning of the sperm - although this cannot be tested by a routine semen analysis. Very specialized testing of the sperm functioning may be performed although this is expensive and its use is debated.

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