No Sperm Count (Azoospermia)
Azoospermia, also known as no sperm count, is a male fertility issue that occurs when there is virtually no sperm in a man’s ejaculate. Azoospermia is present in 2% of the general male population, and is a frequent contributing factor toward the inability to conceive.
What Does "No Sperm Count" Mean?
By definition, Azoospermia means that a man does not have a measurable amount of sperm in his semen. The condition is typically diagnosed when a patient and their partner are experiencing difficultly conceiving and seek testing and diagnosis from a fertility specialist. A semen analysis will be performed in order to determine the number of viable sperm found in the male patient’s ejaculate. If virtually no sperm is found, your doctor may require additional testing if it is deemed necessary. This testing can include a semen analysis at a fertility laboratory such as The Fertility Center of California (FCC), the partner laboratory of The Male Fertility Specialists. At FCC, with a technique called high speed centrifugation, a few sperm can often be found that may have been missed by testing in some of the larger, less-specialized laboratories or by at home sperm count tests.
What Causes Azoospermia?
Azoospermia can be caused by a variety of conditions, these include:
- A blockage in the genitalia, also known as “obstructive azoospermia”
- An infection within the male reproductive system
- Injury to the genitalia
- Effects from surgery to the male reproductive system - including effects from radiation and chemotherapy treatments
- Genetic causes
- Other potential causes include: undescended testes, Varicocele, medications such as steroids and antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, and illegal drug use
Does Azoospermia Have Any Symptoms?
A semen analysis will be required in order to complete a no sperm count diagnosis. However there are a few symptoms that are recognized in relation to having abnormal semen. Symptoms of abnormal semen can include semen that has an unusual color quality such as yellowish, greenish, red or brown tinted (blood may be present in the latter two), semen that is thicker or thinner in consistency, ejaculate has a strong odor and/or is of a low volume.
Can I Still Get My Partner Pregnant If I Have No Sperm Count?
Whether or not you can impregnate your partner is dependent on the diagnosis made by your fertility specialists. Your specialist will advise you on the cause of your azoospermia and what treatment options are available to help you conceive. Patients should note that a no sperm count diagnosis does not mean that conception is necessarily impossible. Men are often producing sperm, but this production is of a very small quantity that does not survive outside of the body.
Is There A Cure For Azoospermia?
Treatment options for azoospermia are entirely dependent on the type and cause of the condition. If the no sperm count is caused by a blockage then your doctor can attempt to remove the source of this blockage through a surgical procedure. If the issue is more hormonal in nature, then your doctor may prescribe medications to correct hormonal balances or clear up and infection.
Where Can I Go To Receive Azoospermia Treatment?
Our role is to test, diagnose and provide treatment options for patients who wish to treat azoospermia and many other conditions that contribute to male infertility.