After working for years and years it’s finally time for you and your spouse to have children. Unfortunately, things aren’t working out in that department. You and your partner undergo tests and lo and behold, your semen just doesn’t have any sperm. You aren’t alone in this. About 1% of all men suffer from azoospermia and the disease makes up about 15% of all infertile men. Let’s break down the basics of this disease and try to understand what is happening to our bodies.
What Is It?
The lack of sperm in a male individual’s semen is called Azoospermia. It is a condition wherein there is no measurable sperm and leads to infertility. Generally, azoospermia can fall under these two types:
Obstructive azoospermia is when the reproductive tract is obstructed or, in some cases, missing a connection somewhere along that line. In these cases, your body is capable of producing sperm and just might be but is having it blocked.
In these cases, there is no blockage along the reproductive tract. Unfortunately, this means that your body is the cause, with your reproductive organs producing little to no sperm at all.
What Are The Causes?
Thankfully, in some cases, the individual can do something about their azoospermia. There can be addressable causes to your condition, allowing you to eventually reproduce naturally. For causes, we can expect them to fall under any of these categories.
This is what we say if the “damage” is prior to the testicles. In these cases, the patient’s testicles are capable of producing sperm but the body is not producing enough hormones to do so. These cases are rare and will need monitoring by professionals.
Here, the testicles are the parts in question. Damage to the testicles can prevent them from doing their job and producing the appropriate amount of sperm or any sperm at all. The causes of this kind of damage can be caused by any of the following examples:
- Radiation therapy
- Groin injury
- Hereditary diseases causing swollen testicles
- Infection along the reproductive tract
Lastly, with post-testicular azoospermia, you can assume that most parts are in order with the problem being the section of the tract after your testicles. Here, we expect to see some kind of blockage preventing you from releasing the sperm. About 40% of azoospermia cases fall under this category.
Examples of what may cause this type of condition can be any of the following:
- Obstruction in the tubes that carry the sperm from the testicles to the penis
- Your semen is entering your bladder instead of your penis in a condition also known as retrograde ejaculation.
- Vasectomy patients
Do I Have Azoospermia?
Normally, the process would begin with providing semen samples for your doctor. Your sample will be tested by the doctor to see how much sperm, if any, there is in your semen. This is how doctors are able to give sperm counts.
If on two runs of the test your semen shows no sign of having any sperm, the doctor will then diagnose you with azoospermia.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to furthering your understanding of azoospermia. Now, that you are fully informed about it, you can take meaningful steps into making sure that azoospermia is addressed properly. Be sure to keep all of this information in mind to avoid any problems down the line.
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