Azoospermia

Azoospermia Patients can Have Children too

Azoospermia, which affects one man out of a hundred, is usually a treatable condition. You can find here information about azoospermia, such as what it is exactly, what its causes are, and how azoospermia patients can produce sperm.

What is Azoospermia?

We talk about azoospermia (zero sperm) when there is no sperm in the seminal fluid. Lack of live sperm in the seminal fluid means that the patient cannot conceive naturally. However, thanks to recently-developed treatment methods, men with azoospermia may also have children.

What are the symptoms of Azoospermia?

Azoospermia does not have any symptoms. The seminal fluid is usually in the normal colour. The diagnosis of azoospermia requires a spermogram (semen analysis). Three days of sexual abstinence are necessary before the spermogram test. During this period of abstinence, the man should neither have sex nor masturbate. It would be wrong to go for a longer period of abstinence in order to increase sperm count; because while sperm count is increased in longer periods of abstinence, sperm motility is decreased. On the fourth day of the period of abstinence, the patient needs to go the centre and produce a sperm sample. This sample is examined in the laboratory and sperm count is assessed. You can find out the results of the spermogram the day following the procedure.

What are the causes of azoospermia?

Azoospermia may occur as a result of obstruction in the sperm ducts or due to a sperm production disorder.

1. Obstruction in the sperm ducts:
In these patients, sperm production occurs in the testes, but there is none in the seminal fluid since the sperm ducts are obstructed.

2. Sperm Production Disorder:
Sperm production may be disrupted due to conditions such as undescended testes, genetic defects, hormone deficiencies, some infections, or exposure to radiation.

How is Azoospermia treated?

The cause of azoospermia should be determined before proceeding with the treatment. The following tests are requested from patients:

1. Repetition of the Spermogram test
2. Hormonal analyses
3. Genetic screenings
4. Scrotal ultrasound

After the completion of all tests and the examination of the urologist, the treatment to be followed is determined.

If azoospermia is due to obstruction, the ducts is freed through surgery. After the opening of the ducts, natural pregnancy can usually be achieved. In the case of azoospermia due to a production disorder, the sperm necessary for the treatment is collected from the testes through surgery. This surgical operation is called micro-TESE. During the micro-TESE process, the channels that can produce sperm in the testis are detected via a surgical microscope and samples are taken from these areas. Micro-TESE ensures that the testes not be damaged while the chance of finding sperm increases. The experience of the physician who will perform the micro-TESE operation is extremely important for the success of this procedure.

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