Azoospermia (Semen Without Sperm) Is A Common Cause Of Male Infertility: What One Needs To Know

Infertility expert Dr Bharati Dhorepatil answers some of the FAQs about azoospermia (semen without sperm), a common cause of male infertility.

Infertility can impact both men and women. More than a third of infertility cases is known to be caused by a male factor. Male infertility refers to any health condition in a guy that reduces the likelihood that his female spouse will become pregnant. Often, male infertility is associated with abnormal sperm delivery or production. A semen study can reveal problems like no sperm count (azoospermia) or extremely low sperm counts (cryptospermia), but it does not always rule out the chance of a couple becoming pregnant.

Dr Bharati Dhorepatil, Consultant Infertility Expert, NOVA IVF Fertility, Pune, says, “The use of novel and interesting treatments may either assist the male in producing sperm or aid identify sperm in small quantities that are missed by routine semen analysis.”

The expert answers some of the FAQs about azoospermia, including causes, diagnosis and treatment.

What is azoospermia?

In the testicles, sperm is produced. It passes through the reproductive system and combines with the seminal duct fluid. Semen, the viscous, white ejaculate that emerges from the penis, is made up of sperm and this fluid. Azoospermia eliminates sperm from the equation. Even while you may have ejaculate, it is sperm-free. While the phrase “low sperm count” may be known to you, azoospermia is most commonly referred to as “no sperm count.”

How is azoospermia diagnosed?

Male fertility problems might be difficult to diagnose. Most frequently, these are caused by sperm delivery or production issues. To identify the exact cause of male infertility, a healthcare practitioner will examine your medical history, followed by a physical examination, blood tests, and semen test.

Issues with sperm production might be brought about by testicular failure, varicocele, or an imbalance in hormones. A varicocelectomy can be done to fix the damaged veins, for instance, if the doctor thinks that a varicocele (an expanded collection of veins in the scrotum) is affecting the amount and/or quality of sperm. This could increase sperm production and occasionally result in sperm in the ejaculate.

Your doctor could inquire about:

  • Your history of fertility (whether you’ve had children or not)
  • Your family’s genealogy (like cystic fibrosis or fertility issues)
  • Sickness you experienced as a youngster
  • How many different pelvic or reproductive system operations or treatments have you undergone?
  • History of infections such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or urinary tract infections (UTIs) (STIs)
  • Exposure to chemotherapy or radiation in the past or present
  • Present or previous medication usage
  • Any potential drug or alcohol abuse
  • Recent fever-inducing sickness
  • Recently experiencing extreme heat

Can azoospermia be treated?

Although azoospermia is a serious cause of male infertility, there are treatments available. After receiving a diagnosis of azoospermia, some men could still be able to conceive a genetic child, whilst others might need to think about utilising a sperm donor or looking into adoption, foster parenting, or living a childless life.

It might be challenging to deal with the diagnosis and consider your alternatives for starting a family. Consult a competent counsellor as well as your family and friends for assistance. You do not have to experience this alone.

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