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New fertility hope for older men

Author John Thompson
Submitted 23-08-2008

Older men whose dreams of a pregnant wife and a shot at fatherhood have been interrupted by a condition known as a varicocele may have new hope, researchers say.

It has already been established that men suffering from a varicocele – a swelling of veins in the scrotum that hampers fertility – can undergo surgery to repair the problem, Reuters Health reports.

Now, a Canadian study has confirmed that men older than 40 who had the surgery, known as varicocelectomy, achieved the same results as their younger counterparts.

The results, published in the journal Urology, suggest that older men who seek this treatment for their varicocele may soon be on their way to showing off their parenting skills.

"This is the first study to examine the influence of paternal age on pregnancy rates after varicocelectomy," the authors are quoted as saying. "The data supports the practice of varicocelectomy in older men with infertility."

Approximately one in six men has a varicocele, according to the Mayo Clinic.