Purpose: γ-Amino butyric acid (GABA) and progesterone play a role in the induction of acrosome reaction (AR) and sperm motility. Patients with varicocele may show abnormalities in the sperm count, motility, and AR. This study aims to evaluate the effect of GABA and progesterone on sperm motility and AR in patients with varicocele before and after varicocelectomy.
Patients and methods: Forty-two infertile patients with varicocele and oligozoospermia and/or asthenozoospermia were included in the study. All participants underwent full assessment of history, general and local clinical examination, scrotal Doppler ultrasonography, and conventional semen analysis. Semen samples were divided into three equal parts and double washed with Ham’s F-10 medium alone as a control or a medium containing GABA (2.5 μmol/l) or progesterone (2.5 μmol/l) separately. The effect of GABA and progesterone on sperm motility and AR was evaluated. Four to 6 months after varicocelectomy, conventional semen analysis and the semen preparation procedure were repeated.
Results: In patients with varicocele, the addition of GABA or progesterone led to a significant improvement in sperm motility and AR compared with samples treated with HAM’s F-10 (control). After varicocelectomy, samples treated with HAM’s F-10 and GABA or progesterone showed a significant improvement in sperm motility and AR compared with samples treated with HAM’s F-10 only. Sperm motility and AR in samples treated with GABA or progesterone after varicocelectomy were significantly higher than those treated with GABA or progesterone before varicocelectomy.
Conclusion: GABA and progesterone improve sperm motility and induce AR in patients with varicocele. Sperm motility and AR showed significant improvement after varicocelectomy in response to GABA and progesterone compared with prevaricocelectomy.