Azoospermia is the absence of sperm in the semen after ejaculation, a rather serious form of male infertility.
In a normal man, sperm will be produced from the testicles, then move into the epididymis to undergo maturation before ejaculation with semen. However, semen analysis in some people shows no semen at all. This is the phenomenon of zero sperm, also known as azoospermia.
The causes of azoospermia can be divided into obstructive azoospermia or nonobstructive azoospermia. No spermatozoa due to obstruction is when sperm cannot move into the reproductive organs because there is a blockage in many places such as vas deferens, epididymis, and ejaculatory ducts. Causes of this condition can be birth defects, reproductive tract infections, previous trauma (including surgery).
Non-obstructive causes are mainly due to hormones or problems with sperm development. In addition, some abnormalities in the number or structure of chromosomes, pathology of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, undescended testicles, testicular atrophy, retrograde ejaculation, varicose veins … It can also lead to infertility. In particular, azoospermia due to retrograde ejaculation is usually easier to treat than other causes.
In addition, certain medications can lead to nonobstructive azoospermia including cancer drugs, testosterone supplements, anabolic steroids, etc.
A person with azoospermia may not have any symptoms or even know they have the disease until an unsuccessful attempt to conceive. Other signs are often related to the cause of the disease, so some men may have signs such as: extremely low semen volume during ejaculation (“dry” orgasm), cloudy urine after during sex, small or swollen testicles, delayed puberty, difficulty getting an erection or ejaculating, etc. However, some people may not have these symptoms and still have azoospermia.
Diagnosis and treatment
Semen analysis is the only way to know if a man’s sperm count is abnormal. If the first semen analysis shows no sperm, your doctor will order the test again a few months later. Zero sperm is diagnosed after completing two separate semen analyzes that both show no sperm in the semen. After diagnosing azoospermia, the next step is to determine the cause of the condition.
With the help of assisted reproduction methods or surgery, men without sperm can still have normal children. At that time, the treatment of azoospermia in men mainly depends on the cause of the disease, specifically:
Surgery: In some cases, no spermatozoa due to a blockage can be remedied through surgery. Surgery may also be indicated to remove or treat varicocele and retrograde ejaculation. This method helps men to conceive naturally but requires appropriate treatment time.
Hormone support drugs: With hormonal infertility, men can be treated with medication. Common medications may include Clomid, Letrozole, FSH injections, or hCG injections. Hormone treatment may be used to stimulate sperm growth in some men. In some cases, supplementing with hormonal drugs will bring the sperm cells back or grow healthier.
Extract sperm from urine after ejaculation: If zero sperm cannot be treated due to retrograde ejaculation, your doctor may take sperm from your post-ejaculate urine. Then, depending on the sperm count and the wife’s fertility, intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF treatment may be suggested.
IVF-ICSI method: It is also known as extracting sperm from the testicles, then freezing it and injecting it directly into the egg. This method is highly effective for men with azoospermia.
Some men can still have children after being diagnosed with azoospermia, so experts recommend early examination and timely treatment so as not to completely lose the chance of fatherhood.
Bao Bao (Follow Very Well Family)