We can help men with azoospermia achieve their dream of fatherhood
Our physicians occasionally see azoospermia at our Tennessee male fertility center, which causes the absence of viable sperm. This condition can be divided into two categories: obstructive azoospermia and non-obstructive azoospermia.
Causes of obstructive azoospermia
Obstructive azoospermia occurs when the sperm is being produced in the testicles, but cannot be ejaculated due to a blockage in the male genital tract. Obstructive azoospermia has many causes.
- Vasectomy. A vasectomy is the most common reason the sperm cannot freely flow through the reproductive tubing.
- Infections. Certain infections of the prostate, testicles and reproductive tract can cause obstructive azoospermia.
- Complications from surgery. Scar tissue from surgery may impede the flow of semen.
- Congenital condition. Men born with a cyst in the prostate that blocks the sperm ducts, or those born without all, or a portion of, the vas deferens may experience obstructive azoospermia.
Experts at our Tennessee male fertility center can help men determine whether obstructive azoospermia is preventing conception.
What is non-obstructive azoospermia
Non-obstructive azoospermia is present when a man produces very low quantities of sperm, or no sperm at all. In this case, the levels of sperm are often so low that the sperm never make it out of the testicles. A man may face the challenge of non-obstructive azoospermia for numerous reasons.
- Genetic issues are often caused by an extra X chromosome.
- Varicocele are varicose veins around the testicles.
- Maturation arrest is an issue with the maturation of the sperm.
- Use of testosterone or other anabolic steroids can cause temporary sterilization.
- Chemotherapy and radiation are causes of non-obstructive azoospermia that may be reversible.
Our physicians can perform a physical exam and diagnostic tests, which often include genetic testing, to determine the cause of azoospermia. After making the right diagnosis, the specialists at our Tennessee male fertility center can recommend various treatment options. Two of the most common include MESA and TESE.
- Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA). This procedure involves collecting the sperm from the coiled tube that lies behind and above each testicle.
- Testicular epididymal sperm extraction (TESE). Very similar to MESA, TESE involves removing tissue from the testicle, which is immediately examined for the presence of sperm.
Sperm from these procedures can either be used to fertilize an egg, or can be frozen for later use.
We often use MESA and TESE in conjunction with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which is when an embryologist injects a single healthy sperm into an egg.
Our team at Nashville Fertility Center provides expert support for hopeful parents navigating the challenges of azoospermia, giving them the best chance of taking home a healthy baby.
Contact us for more information about azoospermia.