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Azoospermia Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Azoospermia Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Azoospermia is a common condition where a man does not have any sperm in his ejaculate. It results in the inability to reproduce and can occur due to various reasons. There are two types of this condition due to the different factors causing a lack of sperm.

  • Obstructive Azoospermia: This is caused by a blockage that is preventing the sperm from exiting the testes.
  • Non-obstructive Azoospermia: This is due to the low production or non-occurrence of sperms in the testes.

Both issues can be accurately diagnosed and rectified through surgical procedures like PESA and TESA. Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) and Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) are techniques that are used to extract sperm from a man if he has azoospermia of either kind.

PESA is the ideal procedure for obstructive azoospermia, where a fine needle is passed into the epididymis to extract the sperm in the event of a blockage. TESA, on the other hand, is suitable for diagnosing non-obstructive azoospermia. A fine needle is directly inserted into the testes to extract a small number of seminiferous tubules; the extracted tubules are then sent to the laboratory to be searched for sperm.

The number of sperms obtained through these procedures are very small and are thus done in tandem with a process known as ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). The process entails the extracted sperms to be directly injected into the eggs for fertilisation after their collection during IVF. These fertilised eggs are incubated in the laboratory for a few days before the embryo is transferred into the uterus.


Azoospermia can be treated through medications, hormonal treatments, surgery and other procedures like as reconnecting or reconstructing the ducts or the tubes that are blocking the flow of the sperm.
The different types of Azoospermia are –
Testicular Azoospermia: Caused due to infections like mumps, orchitis, malaria, testicular trauma, radiation therapy, etc.
Pretesticular Azoospermia: Caused due to certain medications like chemotherapies and narcotics, trauma, low testosterone, etc.

Post testicular Azoospermia: Caused due to problems with ejaculation, which can be obstructed due to some abnormality or defect in the reproductive tract.

You may not experience any symptoms or even know you have azoospermia until you see your conceiving efforts are unsuccessful. Any additional symptom may be related to the underlying causes, such as hormonal imbalances or chromosomal genetic conditions. However, the potential symptoms are:
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • low sex drive
  • decreased hair on the face or body
  • discomfort, lump or swelling around the testicles

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First step towards infertility is correct diagnosis and NOT treatment.