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Azoospermia - Male Infertility Condition
Azoospermia is one condition that can cause male infertility. With azoospermia, a man produces no sperm, or very little sperm in his ejaculate, giving him a zero sperm count. Azoospermia can result from a problem with sperm production or sperm delivery.
While this may seem like it would prohibit a man from fathering a child, there are treatment options that may help a man with azoospermia deliver sperm correctly or produce more sperm.
Rates of Azoospermia
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine estimates that azoospermia affects about 1 percent of all men. For men seeking treatment for infertility, the number jumps to 10-15 percent.
Types of Azoospermia
There are two types of azoospermia. Non-obstructive azoospermia results from abnormal sperm production. Obstructive azoospermia is caused by an obstruction or blockage that prevents or harms sperm delivery into the ejaculate.
Azoospermia is diagnosed initially when no sperm can be detected under a high-powered microscope on two separate occasions.
Subsequent diagnostics will focus on determining the cause of azoospermia, which can help your doctor recommend treatment options. Your initial evaluation will include a complete medical history, physical examination, and tests of selected hormones. Your doctor will ask questions about your prior fertility, childhood illnesses or disorders, such as undescended testicles, genital trauma, infections, exposure to toxins, and family history of reproductive problems and other disorders.
Your doctor will then do a physical examination, taking into account things like testis size, secondary sex characteristics, and presence of varicoceles, which aer varicose veins in the scrotum.
An initial endocrine evaluation will also be done. You may be tested for measurements of serum total testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Elevated levels of FSH may indicate that your testicles are not adequately producing sperm.
Other tests may include a transrectal ultrasound, urinalysis, or testicular biopsy.