Life often throws interesting challenges at us, especially when we’re in the process of trying to create another life.
Giving birth to a child can often be much more complex than one would assume at first. One problem that you might come up against is known as azoospermia.
In this article, we’ll describe clearly what this condition is, why it matters, what might cause this issue and, most importantly, what can be done about it. Whether you wish to find potential options for a cure or you want information, you’ll find useful information here.
What is Azoospermia?
The simplest way to define it is that it's a case of observing no sperm following examination of a semen sample. When azoospermia is discovered, and it impacts as many as 15% of men, the chances of fertility become very low indeed.
Therefore, if you were to find that your chances of procreation were low, you might wish to look out for some of the common symptoms. To help you discover what they are, we will go into this shortly.
At the moment, you can know that azoospermia is a potential problem, and it is worth considering if you are having problems conceiving a child.
What are the causes of azoospermia?
The causes of the condition are twofold, and will often come down to either:
- A problem existing within your body and thus your ability to create sperm naturally.
- A blockage in your body which means that your sperm becomes blocked during ejaculation.
If you are suffering from the latter, then a surgical solution may be able to solve the problem. A blockage can often be found by using a semen analysis test. With this test, it can give a clear indication of the existence of an issue.
However, to determine if you are not producing sperm or if there is a blockage, surgery might be needed.
The cause of the latter, though, can be much harder to both diagnose and solve. The reason for non-obstructive azoospermia can be hard to determine at first, but likely comes down to problems such as:
- Causation due to a previous illness or treatment to an illness, i.e. chemotherapy.
- A previous traumatic incident took place, which may have caused the issue.
Therefore, you are likely to suffer from one of two forms of the condition: non-obstructive or obstructive azoospermia. As ever, it’s essential that you undergo personal treatment to help determine what the cause of your situation may be.
What are common male infertility causes?
Of course, your issues with procreation does not necessarily have to come from azoospermia. The causes of infertility in men can be wide and varied.
Some examples of what causes male infertility, then, include:
- A lack of sperm
- Sperm which is unable to swim correctly, but isn't blocked.
- Abnormal sperm in terms of shade, making movement and fertilization harder.
- Testicular damage, either physically or through other reasons such as congenital disabilities.
- Issues with regards to your ability to ejaculate.
- Medical imbalances caused by medicines such as sulfasalazine.
You can find out more common male infertility causes here.
However, please note that your reasons for male infertility might stem from a condition known as hypogonadism, which is a condition that creates deficient testosterone levels.
Low testosterone levels will directly impact upon your ability to produce sperm. Low testosterone can be caused by the use of illegal drugs, or Klinefelter syndrome; a condition where you could be born with an extra female chromosome.
This condition affects around 7% of men who have infertility problems, so cannot be ruled out.
Alternatively, you might be dealing with a condition known as Varicocele. This condition is an abnormal change within the testicular veins, which is a vein used to help get rid of any dirty blood.
This change would cause you to suffer from problems such as high temperatures and eventually will cause problems with sperm production and motility.
In cases of azoospermia due to Varicocele, at the very least you should have enough to consider undergoing treatment and IVF.
Again, this is why making sure you undergo a thorough and clear investigation is important.
This investigation will help you to work out what the problem is and, most importantly, solve the cause of your zero sperm count.
The development of a tumor could also cause low sperm counts. Whatever the cause of your male infertility, though, you can find that solutions do exist. Especially if you are looking to find the problem to an issue like zero sperm count or even azoospermia itself, solutions do exist.
How can I handle the reasons for my male infertility?
First, we need to determine what could be the main cause of your infertility.
Infertility in men can be controlled and managed by the use of several treatments, including FSH, LH Testosterone and Prolactin hormone adjustments. FSH must be at a high level if there is an issue with sperm production (non-obstructive azoospermia), while there will be reasonable levels of FSH with obstructive azoospermia.
Of course, your reasons could be entirely idiopathic.
Around 30% of men with infertility problems find that there is no real cause or apparent reason for the issue. It could be any number of minor factors contributing to the issue. However, it has been noted that being overweight cause play a role in both azoospermia and oligospermia. You can find out more about both conditions here.
How do I know if I have azoospermia?
You can undergo a sperm test. The test will help to make sure that there is a clear way to understand where your sperm problems lie. Even if there are no sperm cells in the semen, this makes it easier to start working towards a genuine solution. Urology examinations will now take place, and you will have a much clearer idea of where the problem lies.
Whatever the cause, a solution can be found.
When you are not producing sperm due to this problem, then you can begin to move towards building a pathway towards treatment. Let’s take a look at what kind of options exist to help combat this problem.
Let’s say that you are diagnosed with azoospermia.
You can now start to work towards one of the several treatment options out there.
There are some fundamental surgical methods which could be used to help obtain sperm in a male who has problems with infertility.
The following methods, often performed under local/general anesthesia, provide the best chance to make progress.
Note that these treatments can be carried out without the need for a hospital stay: you can carry on with your day afterwards. The results will then be taken to be examined carefully to help determine what might be causing the issue. These treatment solutions include:
PESA: Percutan Epididymal Sperm Aspiration.
This is the method of inserting a thin injection into the epididymis
found on the testicles and withdrawing the sperm from the testicles.
This method is applied by piercing through the skin with an injection without opening the scrotum. It can only be implemented in the condition of obstructive
azoospermia. In cases where the sperm cannot be obtained with this
method, methods of getting sperm from the testicles are applied.
PTSA: Percutan Testicular Sperm Aspiration:
It is the penetration with an injection, into the testicles without opening the skin that covers the testicles. TESE is applied when the process of obtaining sperm is not successful with PTSA.
TESE: Testicular Sperm Extraction:
This method is applied with a small incision by opening the skin which houses the testicles and also opening the little tunic called algubinea surrounding each testicle. Small pieces are taken from the tissue of a testicle.
Micro TESE: Testicular Sperm Extraction under Microscope:
The skin surrounding the testicles and the small tunic, algubinea,
surrounding each testicle is opened with a small incision.
Testicle tissue is examined with a microscope and samples are taken
from the appropriate parts according to their width.
According to some publications, this technique
causes the least damage to the testicular tissue.
Compared to other methods, with the Micro TESE method,
your chances of finding sperm are higher as the testicle is examined under
However, with TESE, the probability of finding
sperm increases to 70%while in TESA/PESA methods,
the likelihood of finding sperm is 40%.
Another important characteristic of TESE is that, due to its minimally
invasive nature, it imposes minimum damage on the testicles through
the incision without damaging the veins feeding
the testicles and its prevention of tissue loss.
Each treatment, though, offers the possibility of obtaining sperm for one of the many methods of conception still open to you – even if you suffer from azoospermia.
How likely is it that sperm will be found?
If the condition is being caused by an obstruction, then you will be quite likely to find sperm - in fact, almost all of the time sperm will be found.
However, with non-obstructive azoospermia, you are much less likely – less than 50% - likely to find any sperm. If no sperm is found, then it is likely that you might need to consider options such as sperm donation.
Also, please note that, particularly with TESE examinations, it is always worth trying again.
Around 25% of non-obstructive azoospermia patients have found mature sperm on a second run-through.
At DunyaIVF, we found that second-examination production results were around 5% higher than the average.
Could we freeze the sperm if it is found during the examination?
In obstructive azoospermia cases, the vitality rates of the sperms following the freezing and thawing process and the pregnancy rates obtained with the use of these sperms are quite high.
However, freezing, preservation and then re-use of the sperms obtained in non-obstructive azoospermia is open to debate.
The majority of the sperm obtained from these patients have structural defects so following the freezing-thawing process, they may not stay alive.
However, it might be beneficial to freeze and preserve the selected sperms if there shall be no sperm.
For this group of patients, using fresh sperm increases the success rate.
Can azoospermia be cured? Is reversal possible?
The first thing to accept at this stage is that natural conception is nearly impossible. The rates for fertility are drastically lowered, and thus it is important that you begin to consider treatments as soon as possible.
Today we can use various treatment options and also surgical solutions to help overcome the problem and work towards a holistic solution.
If this is not possible, then you could easily overcome it using IVF.
You could get over the issue and use a well-respected, safe solution provided enough of a sample can be gathered. Unlike other methods, you might not need much of a sample at all to be recovered to make sure that you can still play a part in the birth of your child.
Therefore, with the options that we can provide you with at DunyaIVF, it’s worth considering what the right approach is.
If you can get enough of a sample, then you could likely press on with conception via this method.
IVF treatment is considered a worthwhile pursuit to consider in this event.
Could homeopathy based treatments help me?
While many people feel comfortable following such treatments, the relationship between azoospermia and homeopathy is a complex and confusing one. We think it’s best to discuss such matters on a personal basis so that we can better understand and ascertain any issues that you might have with regards to treatment.
Surgical treatment might not always be needed, though. It’s true that changes to certain aspects of your lifestyle could have a positive impact on your sperm count without having to undergo surgical treatment.
However, it always pays to keep all options on the table. Few conditions can be quite as confusing to comprehend for those looking to give birth to a child, so take your time to consider all options.
Working with an azoospermia specialist
Of course, it makes sense to progress further with your treatment with a proven specialist. With azoospermia curable today, you can begin to work towards a proven solution as soon as possible.
Through a biopsy, the process can become much clearer, and you can begin to work towards making a significant change to your circumstances. With azoospermia pregnancy normally higher when the right treatment is undertaken, you easily overcome the symptoms and causes of this condition.
Throughout our treatment, we’ve seen and produced several azoospermia Varicocele success stories. We’ve managed to help many people overcome their problems, with surgical treatment to help overcome the problem through the right kind of treatment for your own needs. If the problem is caused by a blockage, then we can help you to find a surgical solution. If the problem is caused by a non-obstructive issue, then we will work with you to help overcome a zero sperm count.
To help deal with it, non-obstructive treatments are often selected. However, we will look at all possibilities with you about handling your azoospermia in a one-to-one conversation. Whether we choose to look closer at a homeopathic treatment or we look to use another treatment plan, you can rest assured that a solution will be found.
We will look at all surgical and non-surgical solutions as a treatment in your case. Everything is considered, and we will do everything we can to find the solution that delivers the best results to you in the safest way possible – while increasing your rates of having a child.
So, if you are looking for a reliable way of overcoming or finding treatment for azoospermia, contact DunyaIVF today.