What causes Azoospermia?

A lack of sperm in the ejaculate can be due to blockage of the male genital system (obstructive azoospermia) with completely normal sperm production or the result of poor sperm production (nonobstructive azoospermia).


How  common is Azoospermia?
 

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About 1% of all men and 10%-15% of infertile men have azoospermia.


What are the  genetic causes of Azoospermia?


Genetics (inheritance) plays a role in 10%-15% of men with low or no sperm production. Defects in chromosomes (the structure inside a cell nucleus that contains genetic material) can affect the number, form, and size of sperm.


Defects can occur at different locations on the Y (male) chromosome. In some cases, a piece of the Y chromosome may be missing (microdeletion) and cause infertility.


I had a semen analysis showing azoospermia — what should I do?


Aside from seeing a specialist in male infertility, the first step would be to get a repeat semen analysis at a lab that has a lot of experience doing semen and sperm tests, because results can vary a lot from test to test and lab to lab. Also, having small numbers of sperm can change the management/treatment options drastically, so the first step should be getting proper confirmation of the finding.


Does having azoospermia mean that the testis makes no sperm?


Not necessarily. The testis can be making sperm, but it might not be enough to have any noticeable amount come out in the ejaculate.    

Genetic testing and counseling are often an important part of understanding and treating azoospermia.


Do you have any surgical  option to relieve obstruction?

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In cases of obstructive azoospermia, consider for  reconstruction or reconnection of obstructed or disconnected ducts.   it can be performed by microsurgical techniques.


Is hormone treatment necessary?

 

Hormone treatments may be possible in cases where the main issue is low hormone production. If living sperm are present (non-obstructive azoospermia), they can be retrieved from the testes for the purpose of assisted pregnancy such as in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.


Men with non-obstructive azoospermia should receive genetic analysis before their sperm are used to perform any type of assisted fertilization, in order to learn if there are any genetic risks that may be passed to children.


How can azoospermia be prevented?


There is no known way to prevent the genetic problems that cause azoospermia. You can take the following measures to prevent azoospermia:


•    Avoid activities that could injure the reproductive organs.
•    Avoid exposure to radiation.
•    Know the risks and benefits of medications that could harm sperm production.
•    Avoid lengthy exposure of the testes to hot temperatures.

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