Azoospermia is a rather common problem in the male population whereby there is absence of sperms in the semen. This could be as a result of obstruction between the ejaculatory duct and testicles. In such a situation, sperms are present but along the way to the ejaculatory duct, they are obstructed from passing through and reaching the destination. It could also be due to non-obstructive causes whereby there is low or no count of sperms in semen. In short, this implies that there is a problem with sperm production in the body, which causes the sperms to be inadequate or completely absent.
It is a nightmare for any male to discover that they have problems with their reproduction system, and even worse if they cannot father a child. Nevertheless, there is hope for most patients with azoospermia. The condition can be treated and the low or absence of sperms rectified.
Is Azoospermia Permanent?
Among the three classifications of azoospermia, pretesticular and post-testicular azoospermia can be reversed, thus they are not permanent conditions. However, testicular azoospermia is usually permanent especially if the underlying cause is a congenital disorder.
Azoospermia can be identified in three different perspectives depending on when the sperms are absent in the semen. Pretesticular azoospermia refers to a situation whereby there is poor stimulation of normal testicles and genital tract to produce sperms. This problem arises from the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland in the brain, which leads to a hormonal imbalance and thus pretesticular azoospermia. The second classification of azoospermia is testicular azoospermia. When a male experiences this kind of azoospermia, the testes are the root of the problem – either atrophic, absent or abnormal – and therefore sperm production is disturbed. Finally, we have posttesticular azoospermia which falls under obstructive causes of azoospermia since the sperms are produced but not ejaculated.
Causes of Azoospermia
The cases of azoospermia can be categorized as either obstructive or non-obstructive. Obstructive azoospermia causes include; surgery, injury, vasectomy, congenital absence of vas deferens, prostatic cystic fibrosis and prior infections in the epididymis. On the other hand, causes of non-obstructive azoospermia are genetic abnormalities, hormonal imbalance, and history of testosterone replacement, drug-induced, abuse of narcotic, exposure to radiation and excessive exposure of testicles to heat.
Treatment of Azoospermia
Treatment for azoospermia depends on the underlying cause. If a patient experiences azoospermia due to obstructions in the vas deferens, surgery can be performed to surgically repair the problem. Surgery can also be done to retrieve sperms directly from the testicles or epididymis in cases of sperm production but no ejaculation. For infections, antibiotic treatment can be the first course of treatment and depending on the outcome; further intervention should be done if still there are no sperms in semen. Hormonal imbalance is yet another cause azoospermia, and the ideal way to handle such a situation is through hormone replacement or medication to regulate hormone levels in the body. Assisted reproductive technology is a treatment procedure that involves extracting sperms from the testicles and through artificial reproduction; the sperms are injected into the female genitalia. Therefore, the female is able to conceive and the male patient’s dream of becoming a father is fulfilled.
Azoospermia cases in male patients are different; hence, their permanency is not the same. Whether azoospermia is permanent or temporary depends on the classification, the cause, and extent of the damage. In case of absence of essential tubes in the ejaculatory path, then the condition cannot be reversed, and therefore it is permanent. Also, azoospermia is permanent if one is unable to produce sperms naturally. In patients with treatable conditions such as Kallman syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, and varicocele, then azoospermia is only temporary. Once the underlying cause has been treated, then one is able to ejaculate semen with sperms. If you really want to be a father but due to azoospermia, you cannot ejaculate enough sperms to fertilize female ova, you should opt for assisted production.