Purpose: Evaluation of the fertility of a cohort of formerly bilaterally cryptorchid
men in comparison with a group of formerly unilaterally cryptorchid men, and a group
of control men. Materials and Methods: Using a detailed questionnaire concerning
paternity and factors related to paternity, a cohort of formerly bilateral cryptorchid
men were studied and compared with men who had undergone orchiopexy for unilateral
cryptorchidism, and a group of control men. All study subjects had had surgery at
the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., between 1955 and 1975. A subset
of the full cohort underwent clinical evaluation that included a physical examination,
serum hormonal determination and semen analyses. Results: Paternity rates are significantly
lower among the formerly bilaterally cryptorchid men who have attempted to father
a child (65.3%) as compared to the formerly unilaterally cryptorchid (89.7%; p < 0.001)
and control men (93.2%; p < 0.001). Differences in the ability to father children
are also apparent when semen and hormone levels are compared between the three groups.
The bilateral group has significantly lower sperm density and inhibin B levels, and
higher FSH and LH levels, than the unilateral and control groups. Conclusions: Men
born with bilateral cryptorchidism have severely compromised fertility in adulthood.
This reduction in fertility is clearly shown in comparisons of both paternity rates,
and in semen and hormone analyses, between the formerly bilateral, formerly unilateral,
and control groups.