Azoospermia is one of the male infertility causes where a man’s semen doesn’t have any sperm. Usually, the testicles in scrotum are responsible for the production of sperm and the sperm is fixed with fluid of male reproductive system to become semen. Semen is the thick white color liquid released from penis at the time of ejaculation. Azoospermia may be present from birth or may have developed later.
Different types of azoospermia
Obstructive azoospermia: Under this type, the sperm production is normal, but the reproductive tract of both the testicles are blocked. Thus, the sperm fails to get into semen.
Non-obstructive azoospermia: It is poor sperm production. Men don’t produce sufficient sperm to be seen in their semen. It is tough to treat this type.
Factors of azoospermia
Why do your testicles lack the production of sperm? Some of the factors of azoospermia are given below:
Pretesticular azoospermia: In this condition, your testicles are fine but body fails to make sperm. It may occur due to low hormone levels.
Testicular azoospermia: It happens because of some damage done to the testicles which prevents them from producing sperms naturally. It could be because of genetics, cancer or its treatment, childhood problem or infection of the reproductive tract.
Post-testicular azoospermia: In this condition, your testicles produce normal sperm, but something stops it from getting out like blocked tubes which carry sperm to penis, vasectomy or retrograde ejaculation.
Azoospermia diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis of this infertility disease is quite disturbing for men. However, there are several successful treatment options once the cause has been determined. Around 2% of men lack sufficient sperm content in their semen which causes azoospermia.
During your diagnosis, your doctor will find out whether you have obstructive azoospermia or non-obstructive azoospermia. The aim is to correct the problem and enhance your conception rate or make it possible in any form. You may need:
Sperm samples are taken to diagnose the problem. The semen sample is collected in a lab bottle. Make sure you avoid any kind of ejaculation two to five days before providing the sample. It will help your body replenish any sperm it is producing. The sperm samples undergo several tests.
There are some kinds of treatment for azoospermia which can help men with problem have kids in the future. If you have obstructive azoospermia problem, then a surgery will help you get rid of the blockage. The newer your blockage is, the higher are the chances of success.
Sperm retrieval can be a great help for those men suffering from non-obstructive azoospermia or which have a blockage but do not want to undergo a surgery. A simple option is use a small needle to draw sperm from your testicles. The sperms are frozen and then later used for IVF.
If you undergo a testicular biopsy, the doctor can easily get your sperm at the same time, so you don’t have to undergo a second surgery.
Counselling and genetic testing are also important for azoospermia diagnosis and treatment. Under the situations of obstructive azoospermia, reconstruction of the obstructed or disconnected tubes are done. Hormonal treatment is also done where there is a problem of low hormone production.
If there are living sperm seen in the testicles, they can easily be recovered from there to get azoospermia treatment through IVF- ICSI. It is very helpful for those men who have lost all hopes of having a child.
Men with non-obstructive azoospermia should undergo genetic analysis before their sperms undergo for any kind of assisted fertilization to find out the different genetic risks involved which may be passed to their kids at the time of birth.
It is very important to get word to word advice from your doctor under all situations and treatments of azoospermia to avoid any problem in the future to you or to your kids. Feel free to clear all your doubts first and then proceed with the treatment options.