Male fertility is related to sperm count but also sperm quality. A diagnosis of no sperm in the ejaculate which is also known as azoospermia can be a devastating diagnosis. But, there is lots that can be done and plenty of options for you when it comes to male fertility.
Azoospermia is the medical term for a no sperm in the ejaculate. This is diagnosed following a semen analysis showing a sperm count of zero. A normal sperm count is considered anything over 15 million sperm cells per millilitre of semen. Oligospermia or low sperm count is anything under 15 million – find out more about that here.
What causes no sperm in the ejaculate?
There are two reasons why there would be a lack of sperm cells in the semen; the first is that there isn’t any sperm being produced in the testicles this is non-obstructive azoospermia, the second being that there is a blockage preventing the sperm from reaching the ejaculate – obstructive azoospermia. Azoospermia affects approximately 10% of men with fertility problems and about 1% of men in the population as a whole.
Factors affecting azoospermia
The cause of no sperm in the ejaculate is not known in its entirety but it is likely linked to one of the following:
- Genetic conditions affecting fertility such as Klinefelter’s Syndrome
- Medical treatments for cancer such as chemo or radio therapy
- Drug abuse
- Viral illness – this can cause transient azoospermia
When it comes to treatment options there are a few to consider and should be discussed with your consultant to see which is the most appropriate for you. These include:
- Specialist team – bringing together male and female fertility specialists is important get the best outcome for you and your partner.
- Lifestyle changes – discussing lifestyle changes with your consultant is important as excessive weight, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse can all impact sperm levels and fertility
- Medication – some medications can help address a hormone imbalance and others can help treat infections
- Surgery – this may be an option if the azoospermia is caused by blockage. Surgery would be micro tese or sperm retrieval
If you wish to speak to our specialist team please contact the practice here.