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Azoospermia, When Male Semen Does Not Contain Sperm

Azoospermia is a condition where the amount of sperm contained in a man's semen is very little or no at all. This condition can occur in about 1% of all men in the world and 15% in men who are infertile. If you are not pregnant, too, after you keep on trying every year, this could be the cause.

Before knowing the cause of azoospermia, first know how sperm are produced by the body.

Overview of the process of sperm formation

In general, the male reproductive system consists of testicles, prostate, penis, scortum (testicles), epididymis, vas deferens, and urethra (urethra).

Before becoming a sperm cell that is ready to fertilize an egg, sperm need many stages and a long time. Sperm itself is produced in the seminiferous tubules in the male testicles. The process of forming sperm cells in the testis is called spermatogenesis. Perfectly cooked sperm cells will then be removed from the epipidimis through a hose transporting the vas deferens to the urethral duct.

During the trip, the mature sperm will pass through several important organs, such as seminal veskulas and prostate. Each of these organs will issue a special liquid to thin the sperm and create the milky white sticky liquid we know as semen.

Well, to excrete semen or reach ejaculation, men need a stimulus by seeing or feeling something that arouses sexual desire.

Types of azoospermia

Based on the cause, this condition is divided into three types, namely:

1. Pretesticular azoospermia

This condition occurs when a man experiences a sex hormone disorder that affects sperm production in the testes. There are several things that can cause this condition. Some of them are like:

  • Kallman syndrome. Kallman syndrome is a congenital genetic disorder on the X chromosome. This condition is characterized by low levels of the hormone gonadotropin (GnRH) and decreased sense of smell. GnRH itself is tasked with stimulating the pituitary family to release hormones that stimulate sperm production.
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland in the brain. This condition is caused by exposure to radiation or certain drugs, especially those used in chemotherapy treatment. Not only that, the influence of alcohol, cigarettes, and narcotics can also trigger hypothalamic disorders in the brain.

2. Azoospermia testicular

This condition is caused by a man having damage to the structure or function of his test. There are several things that can cause this condition. Some of them are like:

  • Infections in the reproductive tract. A man who has a history of epididymitis and urethritis is more likely to experience this condition.
  • Orchitis. Orchitis is inflammation that occurs in one or both testicles in the scrotum. This disease can make the testicles or testicles swell because the testicles are infected with the goiter virus.
  • Injury. Having an injury in the groin or even a pubic device due to an accident or a hard impact can also cause this condition.
  • Anorchia. Anorchia is also known as 'missing testicular syndrome'. This condition occurs when the testicles do not appear or disappear after the critical stage of sex organ formation, which is between weeks 12-14. Babies with this condition will still have a penis and scrotum, but there is no testicle.
  • Cryptorchidism. This condition occurs when the male baby's testicles do not descend into the scrotum at birth. Normally, in the third trimester of pregnancy the testes will drop naturally through the abdominal cavity and occupy the scrotum. But in babies born with this condition, the testicles remain in the abdominal cavity and are not in the scrotum.
  • Klinefelter's syndrome. Klinefelter syndrome is a congenital disorder that causes a man to have an excess X chromosome. Men with this condition may not experience puberty properly. Instead, they actually emerge some characteristics of women.
  • History of certain diseases. Some diseases such as diabetes, cirrhosis, or kidney failure can increase the risk of men experiencing this condition.
  • Certain drugs. Chemotherapy or radiation exposure can also cause a man to get azoospermia.

3. Post-testicular azoospermia

This condition occurs when the sperm produced in the testis cannot be removed from the penis. In many cases, this is the most common cause of men with azoospermia. There are several things that can cause the condition. Some of them are like:

  • Vasectomy. Vasectomy is the surgical process of cutting the vas deferens (a small tube-shaped duct inside the scrotum that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis).
  • Retrograde ejaculation. When a man reaches orgasm, the penis will usually ejaculate by firing semen out of the penis hole. However, the man's semen with this condition does not come out through the penis hole, but turns upward until it enters the bladder.
  • Obstructive Azoospermia. This condition occurs when the tube that carries sperm from the testis to the penis is blocked.

Various treatment options for azoospermia

Don't get discouraged when the doctor tells you that your doctor has azoospermia. With proper care and treatment, men with this condition still have the opportunity to have a baby, how come. Here are some types of treatment for men with azoospermia:

  • Operation. If your condition is caused by a blockage in the canal that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis, surgery is the best choice. The sooner the blockage is handled, the more likely the operation will succeed. If the surgery is successful, your chances of quickly having a baby are great.
  • Test-tube baby. There are other ways you can do it if you experience a blockage but don't want surgery. One way is to take sperm samples from the testes and then use them in in vitro fertilization (IVF) or IVF.

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