Azoospermia is one of the most severe causes of infertility in men. It is a condition that is characterized by the absence of sperm in the semen upon ejaculation. However, even with azoospermia, the man can conceive a biological child.
The absence of sperm from ejaculated sperm does not exclude the possibility that the man may still have a biological child. It can produce sperm, except that they are not eliminated by sperm. Doctors can collect sperm samples using surgical collection techniques.
Types of azoospermia
- obstructive azoospermia - occurs in 40% of cases, when there is a blockage in the ductal system; it prevents sperm from mixing with the rest of the ejaculatory fluid; blockage may occur in deferential vessels or epididymis;
- non-obstructive azoospermia - occurs in over 60% of cases and is caused by a problem in the production of sperm in the body; this is often the result of hormonal imbalances.
What are the causes?
The causes of azoospermia are divided into 2 categories: problems related to sperm production and problems in its transport.
Problems with sperm production
- hormonal abnormalities - the existence of hormonal imbalances in the body can trigger azoospermia (for example Cushing's Syndrome);
- unobstructed testicles (cryptorchidia) - if not detected and corrected in childhood, the disease results in the testicles' inability to produce sperm;
- vascular trauma - trauma to the testes or blood vessels in the testes can prevent them from producing sperm (varicocele).
Problems with semen transport
For the sperm to be ejaculated outside the body, it must pass from the testicles into the urethra. Then, it passes through a series of ducts (channels) in the reproductive system until it mixes with the rest of the ejaculatory fluids and leaves the body. The problems that may appear in this sperm route are given by:
- congenital absence of deferential vessels - some men are born without these vessels, which are small tubes that lead to the urethra and then to ejaculation;
- Infections - Some infections, such as STDs, can cause sperm blockage in the epididymis or deferential vessels.
What are the symptoms of azoospermia?
It is very difficult for azoospermia to be observed in the absence of fertility tests. There are no specific symptoms. On the contrary, the man can ejaculate normally, the semen can have normal texture and color, as if there were no problems.
Only after testing the sperm (spermogram) can the disease be discovered. An endocrinologist specializing in reproductive problems or a fertility specialist can do the necessary analysis.
How is it treated?
There are several ways to treat and cure the condition, with the possibility of restoring fertility. Treatments include:
- removing blockages from the duct system;
- hormone rebalancing drugs.
Sometimes it is impossible to restore sperm flow. But there are modern techniques for collecting sperm samples in azoospermia:
- microaspiration of epididymal sperm;
- percutaneous suction of sperm;
- extraction of semen from the testicles.
Tags Fertility men