If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, it can sometimes be the result of azoospermia. Fortunately, your board-certified urologist can help you explore your fertility options and grow your family.
Azoospermia means that there’s no sperm present in your ejaculate. Normally, the testes produce sperm which travel up the vas deferens and join the fluid produced in the prostate. When you ejaculate, it’s a mixture of seminal fluid and sperm. Azoospermia means that you ejaculate only seminal fluid. It impacts around 10% of men who are infertile, or about 1% of the entire male population. Men who have had a vasectomy are considered azoospermic.
There are two different types of azoospermia. The first is “obstructive”, meaning that no sperm is present in the ejaculate because of a blockage. It can also be “nonobstructive”, which means it’s the result of low sperm production in the testes. Your treatment options will differ based on your type.
What are My Treatment Options?
Your first step is diagnosing azoospermia with a semen analysis. You’ll also work with your urologist to determine the cause of your azoospermia, which may include more testing with an ultrasound. If your azoospermia is obstructive, meaning there’s a blockage, your urologist may be able to reconstruct the area with surgery. If your azoospermia is nonobstructive, you may be able to produce results by changing or getting rid of medications, or by supplementing hormones. Microsurgical sperm retrieval can be an effective way to cause a pregnancy and your urologist can help you determine whether it’s the right option for you.
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There are many different possible causes of azoospermia. Some may be genetic or anatomic, including conditions such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, varicoceles, or abnormalities of the vas deferens. It can also be caused by drug use or the result of radiation treatments. Finally, some causes of azoospermia are unknown – for example, because of environmental factors or reduced testicular development.
The goal of azoospermia treatment is to increase the chances of getting your partner pregnant rather than curing it. You can still have children even with azoospermia, but you may need to navigate a non-traditional route to get there. Whether you opt for fertility treatments, donor sperm, or adoption, many azoospermic men are still able to attain their goals for a family. Your urologist can help you explore your options and find the path that works best for you and your partner.
To learn more about your treatment options for infertility, your first step is meeting with a urologist. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Houman by calling (310) 854-7822 or filling out our online form to get started.
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Meet Dr. Houman
Dr. Justin Houman is a board-certified, fellowship-trained Urologist and Men’s Health specialist whose mission is to enhance men’s quality of life by improving their sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Houman’s focus is on making a difference in people’s lives through state-of-the-art, compassionate, and personally tailored care.
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