Azoospermia: When a man's semen has no sperm
When a man's semen has no sperm, it is a condition called Azoospermia. Find out more about this condition and its effects on fertility, below.
When dealing with issues of infertility, it would help couples to learn more about conditions, though rare, that could be hindering conception. When a man's semen has no sperm, it could be because of a condition known as Azoospermia.
There are two types of Azoospermia: obstructive and non-obstructive. In obstructive azoospermia, there is a blockage that keeps sperm from getting out of the testicle. As for the non-obstructive kind, there is no sperm production.
What causes Azoospermia?
Though most cases have no known cause, experts believe that azoospermia can be traced to genetic factors. Some cases are also attributed to groin injury, reproductive tract infection, childhood illness, previous vasectomy, cancer and its treatment, and other testicular deficiencies, like retrograde ejaculation, which occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of exiting the penis during orgasm.
What are the signs and symptoms?
If you and your wife have been trying to get pregnant by engaging in unprotected sex for a year without success, then it might be time to visit a doctor or reproductive health specialist.
The doctor will then take semen samples for analysis. A full physical exam could also be done, including your medical history, blood tests and hormone analysis. A biopsy or vasography can be done to confirm the diagnosis.
How can it be prevented?
Since it could be caused by a reproductive tract infection, it's best to avoid getting sexually transmitted diseases or infections. If you happen to get infected, it's best to seek early treatment to lower the risk of developing this condition.
Drinking alcohol in moderation and avoiding illegal drugs or steroids are other ways to prevent this condition.
What are the treatments for a man whose semen has no sperm?
Naturally, treatment will depend upon the type of azoospermia. For the obstructive kind, doctors could recommend microsurgery, or aspirating sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF). If reversal of semen flow or if semen enters the bladder instead of being ejaculated is the problem, then sperm can be taken from the man's urine.
Can a woman whose husband has azoospermia still get pregnant?
Yes. There are ways for couples with this infertility problem to conceive. The best way is for both of them undergo the necessary health checkups in order for them to find the best treatment and options possible for them to start their own family.