Azoospermia: what it is, types, causes and treatment

Azoospermia: what it is, types, causes and treatment

Intimate Life

Azoospermia is the complete absence of sperm in semen, being one of the main causes of infertility in men. This condition can happen due to obstruction in the place where the sperm should pass, infections or be the result of a blow to the testicles, for example.

Although azoospermia is one of the main causes of infertility in men, there are also other problems that can prevent a man from getting his partner pregnant, such as infections or hormonal changes. Discover the main causes of infertility in men and how to treat it.

The treatment of azoospermia is carried out according to the cause, and surgery is usually indicated, especially when there is obstruction in the vas deferens. Thus, by unblocking the passage, it is possible to restore the man's reproductive capacity. However, it is important that a spermogram is carried out to evaluate the characteristics of the sperm and ensure their viability.

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Types of azoospermia

Azoospermia can be classified into two main types according to the probable cause, namely:

  • Obstructive azoospermia: there is obstruction in the place where the sperm should pass, which may be due to changes in the vas deferens, in the epididymis or due to vasectomy surgery, for example;
  • Non-obstructive azoospermia: It is characterized by the lack of sperm production, which may be a consequence of a congenital disease or due to blows to the testicles.

The type of azoospermia is identified by the urologist through imaging tests, such as abdominal and testicular ultrasound, in addition to laboratory tests.

Main causes of azoospermia

Azoospermia is caused by any condition that affects the production, storage or transport of sperm to the urethra. Therefore, the main causes include:

  • Injuries to the testicles or epididymis caused by blows;
  • Infections in the male reproductive system;
  • Presence of a tumor in the testicle;
  • Side effect of some chemotherapy medication;
  • Cryptorchidism, which is a situation in which the testicles do not descend into the scrotum;
  • Varicocele;
  • Recent surgery in the pelvic region;
  • Infections in the genital region.

Furthermore, the presence of genetic alterations can also cause difficulty in sperm production, ultimately causing azoospermia from birth.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The most common way to diagnose azoospermia is through a spermogram, a laboratory test in which a sample of the man's semen is evaluated, allowing the quality and quantity of sperm present to be verified. Understand how the spermogram is done.

However, even if the spermogram indicates changes or absence of sperm in the semen, the urologist must request other complementary tests to confirm the diagnosis and identify its cause. Therefore, imaging tests, such as abdominal and testicular ultrasound, may be recommended, in addition to laboratory tests, such as hormone measurement and research for genetic changes, in some cases.

How the treatment is carried out

The treatment of azoospermia is carried out according to the cause, but normally when it is obstructive azoospermia, the treatment is surgical and aims to correct the cause, allowing sperm to pass through again.

In the case of non-obstructive azoospermia, the treatment is more complicated, and the man must undergo additional tests, mainly hormonal, to check his reproductive capacity.

In either case, it is always very important that men follow up with a psychologist, as the diagnosis can create negative emotions, which can end up generating depression, especially as some men may feel their masculinity is affected.