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Azoospermia: When the Sperm Count is Zero


male infertility because of low sperm count

Azoospermia is a medical condition of a man whose semen contains no sperm. It is analogous with infertility, but few forms are amenable to medical treatment. It may affect 1% of the male population and can be seen in up to 20% of male infertility situations. Due to medical advancements, now depending on the type of azoospermia,it can be surgically treatable with a return of ejaculated sperm or through sperm retrieval and assisted reproduction to achieve successful pregnancy.


Symptoms of Azoospermia- 


Couples who are trying to conceive and face infertility which means even after having unprotected intercourse for 1 year the female partner fails to get pregnant. Infertility is the first sign that something may be wrong with either of the partners. There are few symptoms that may lead to azoospermia


  1. Low ejaculate volume or a dry orgasm which means there is little or no semen during ejaculation.
  2. Cloudy urine after having sex. 
  3. Pelvic pain or swollen and smaller testicles.
  4. Difficulty with erections or ejaculation.
  5. Reduced male hair growth.
  6. Muscle loss.


Type and Causes of Azoospermia-


1.Pre-testicular Azoospermia- It is non-obstructive in nature and is caused due to the poor production of sex harmones. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels are low that commensurate with inadequate stimulation of the testes to produce sperm.

 This type of azoospermia is caused due to-

  • Kallmann syndrome: It is a genetic or an inherited disorder  which is carried on the X chromosome and is marked by low levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) with a loss of smell.
  • Disorders of the Hypothalamus (a part of the brain)- Any kind of damage to the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland, may also cause this type of azoospermia. If a person is undergoing certain medications or having radiation treatments for cancer that can also be a cause of this azoospermia. 


2. Testicular Azoospermia- This type of azoospermia is non-obstructive in nature and is caused when the testes are abnormal, atrophic, or absent, and the sperm production is also severely disturbed. This condition can be seen in 49–93% of men with azoospermia. The testicular failure includes absence of failure production as well as low production and maturation arrest during the process of spermatogenesis. 

The Testicular Azoospermia may be caused due to- 

  • Klinefelter Syndrome- It is caused by two or more X chromosomes in males. The main feature of this syndrome is that it causes male infertility and the poor functioning of testicles. The symptoms could be weaker muscles, greater height, less body hair, and less interest in sex. These symptoms are often noticed at the puberty stage. 
  • Other causes can be diseases like diabetes, cirrhosis or kidney failure


3.Post-Testicular Azoospermia- This condition occurs in about 40% of men with azoospermia This is obstructive in nature and is caused by problems with ejaculation due to an obstruction of some sort in the reproductive tract.

The Post-Testicular Azoospermia may be caused due to- 

  • Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens (CBAVD)- It is a genetic disorder in which the vasa deferentia is absent at birth. Men with CBAVD have a high risk of being a carrier of cystic fibrosis. 
  • It may also be caused due to injuries, growth of a cyst, or infection.




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