Effect of Intravesical Immunotherapy on Sperm Parameters in Young Patients With Non–Muscle-Invasive Bladder Carcinoma: Prospective Analysis

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In this prospective analysis, the effect of intravesical immunotherapy on sperm parameters in 17 young patients (mean age 34.6 years) with non-muscle invasive bladder carcinoma was observed. Total sperm concentration was significantly decreased in 12 patients. Thus intravesical therapy with BCG was found to adversely affect spermatogenesis and sperm preservation should be advised before BCG therapy to avoid fertility issues in future.


To investigate the effects of intravesical immunotherapy on semen parameters in young patients with non-muscle invasive bladder tumour.


A total of 17 sexually active male patients < 45 years of age underwent transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) from Jan 2010 to Dec 2012. On HPE analysis, T1 high grade was found in 16 patients and Ta grade high grade in 1 patient. Associated CIS was found in 4 patients. Induction course of 6 weeks of adjuvant BCG therapy was given. Semen analysis was done 1 week prior to BCG therapy and 3 months after BCG therapy. Serum levels of hormones like total testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) were also measured.


Mean age of patients at diagnosis was 34.6 (29–43) years. Total semen volume was found to be decreased in 2 patients. Main parameter which was deteriorated was total sperm concentration which was significantly decreased in 12 patients and 5 patients even had their counts below oligospermia levels. Seven patients had associated decrease in sperm motility. However, no patient showed significant difference in other semen parameters. Also no patient had any change in androgen hormonal status except 2 patients in which serum testosterone was found to be non-significantly decreased.


Intravesical therapy with BCG was found to adversely affect spermatogenesis and cause oligospermia. It is important that relatively young patients must be informed of these effects and advised to have sperm preservation before instillation of BCG therapy to avoid fertility issues in future.

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