When it comes to family planning, the sperm is often taken for granted. This is because a majority of men may not have any problem with their sperm. But for some couples, azoospermia or a lack of sperm in the ejaculate, may hinder conception.
It might be worthwhile to know that 10 to 15 percent of all infertility cases reported in the United States are related to azoospermia. Lack of sperm does not mean you may never be able to conceive. With many treatment options available, becoming a father is possible for men with azoospermia. Here’s what you need to know about this condition.
There are two main types of azoospermia: Obstructive and nonobstructive. In case of obstructive one, the sperm is being produced inside the testicle but is blocked and can’t get out. In the nonobstructive type there is no sperm being made.
In most cases, the cause behind azoospermia is unknown. In both kinds, there may be genetic causes that may impair sperm production or transit.
- According to experts, some men are born without the duct leading from the testes to the penis, which is called the vas deferens. Without this channel, the sperm can’t travel out of the end of the penis.
- In the nonobstructive causes of azoospermia, a chromosomal abnormality may be the cause. Even medical conditions like diabetes can cause reversal of the flow of semen or retrograde ejaculation.
- Cancer patients who need to undergo radiation and chemotherapy may develop azoospermia as these two treatments destroy the sperm-producing cells.
- Excessive use of testosterone can also result in a temporary or even permanent case of azoospermia.
Generally, there aren’t any obvious symptoms such as pain that might indicate if a man has azoospermia. Men who have low hormone levels are an exception to this. Those with chromosomal abnormalities will have other physical features that are typical of the syndrome. These include enlarged breast tissue, low energy levels, small genitals and above average height. In rare cases, men may have small testes or swollen structures within the testes, or symptoms of low testosterone.
Azoospermia is most commonly diagnosed when a couple discovers they are unable to conceive. An analysis of the semen is often the only way to determine whether this condition is present. If there is zero sperm, a reproductive urologist will establish whether it is obstructive or nonobstructive.
Azoospermia can be treated, based on its cause. The obstructive variety that’s caused by complications due to sexually transmitted infections, like epididymitis, or because of hernia repair that has injured the vas, can be successfully repaired with microsurgery. Obstructive azoospermia may be treated due to congenital missing ducts and is treated by microsurgically sucking sperm out and using it to fertilize the partner’s eggs retrieved by in vitro fertilization (IVF).
If you suffer from azoospermia, our doctors at KIMS Cuddles can help guide you through the best way to prevent and treat this condition.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.