What is IVF Success Rate ? If one opts for IVF for the first time; the most important thing to know is the success rate of an IVF procedure. Around the world it varies from 35% to 40%. While in some developed countries like Spain; it hovers around the upper limit; it...
In layman’s terms, azoospermia means no sperm while oligozoospermia means not many sperms.
Everything You Need To Know About Azoospermia/Oligospermia
What is a low Sperm Count?
When you have a low sperm count, the sperm count in your ejaculate (semen) during an orgasm is lower than it should be. If you have less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen, your sperm count is considered poor.
A low sperm count lowers your chance of becoming pregnant. Despite this, many men with low sperm counts are nonetheless able to conceive children.
What is Azoospermia?
The medical disease known as azoospermia is characterized by the lack of any sperm in a man’s semen sample after it has been centrifuged. Before a guy is diagnosed with azoospermia, at least two semen samples should be examined. Only 1% of men are affected, yet that translates to 20% of all male infertility cases.
Causes of Azoospermia
Azoospermia may be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Ejaculatory duct obstruction
- Undescended testes at birth
- Trauma or surgery of the scrotum
- Primary testicular failure (Klinefilter syndrome)
- Genetic infertility is caused by a chromosomal anomaly; karyotyping is required to diagnose this disorder.
- Unexplained genetic infertility
- Secondary testicular failure (Kallman syndrome)
- Pituitary/Hypothalamic tumor
- Hyperprolactinemia; high level of prolactin in males
- Cancer treatment that involves chemo, radiation, and surgery
- Alcohol and glucocorticoids cause drug-induced pituitary suppression.
- Testosterone supplements
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Sickle cell anemia
- Diabetes mellitus
- Exposure to pesticides/toxins, such as in hot tubs and baths
- Sperm autoimmunity
Symptoms of Azoospermia
If your attempts to conceive fail, you may not notice any signs or even be aware that you have azoospermia. Any additional indications or symptoms you have may be linked to underlying reasons, such as hormone imbalances or genetic chromosomal disorders.
Otherwise, the following signs and symptoms are possible:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lump, swelling, or discomfort around the testicles
- Reduced facial or body hair
What is Oligozoospermia?
Oligozoospermia occurs when a man’s ejaculate contains less sperm than is necessary to conceive than the recommended minimum. Oligozoospermia is another name for this disorder. A sperm count of fewer than 20 million per milliliter is considered oligozoospermia by the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s the most prevalent reason males have fewer odds of becoming pregnant or having an unplanned pregnancy.
Causes of Oligospermia
Oligozoospermia is caused by a variety of medical disorders, including the following:
- Varicocele: Spermatogenesis is further hampered by increased testicular temperature as a result of testicular vein dilation. Male hormones like testosterone are needed to produce sperm, and when the testicles’ temperature increases, this interferes with testosterone synthesis. Additionally, the high-temperature damages the sperm’s DNA.
- Hormonal imbalance: FSH, LH, and Testosterone, all of which are gonadotropin-releasing hormones, are essential for normal sperm production.
Other variables associated with oligozoospermia in men’s lifestyles include:
- High testicular temperature: The most common causes include using a laptop while sitting or wearing clothes that are too tight around the genitals.
- Substance abuse and alcohol: Cocaine and marijuana usage might lead to a reduction in sperm count. Both heavy drinking and cigarette smoking have detrimental consequences in moderation.
Symptoms of Oligospermia
Symptoms of a low sperm count include the following:
- Low sexual desire or difficulties sustaining an erection are examples of problems with sexual function (erectile dysfunction)
- Testicular discomfort, swelling, or a lump
- Hair loss on the face or body, or other indications of a chromosomal or hormone problem
The therapy for azoospermia is mostly determined by the underlying reason.
Blockage: However, patients may be offered microsurgery to restore sperm function in cases when the sperm are blocked in the vas deferens or another location.
Patients who have missing sperm because of a hormonal deficiency have the option of having the necessary hormones administered to them.
Men with unexplained infertility and other problems, on the other hand, are encouraged to go through an IVF process in which the sperm(s) existing in the testes are directly removed utilizing sperm retrieval methods. The sperm is then utilized in a procedure known as ICSI, in which it is directly injected into the female oocyte (egg) in a laboratory (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
Depending on the diagnosis of infertility, the following techniques may be used:
- TESE: Testicular sperm extraction
- Micro TESE
- MESA: Microscopic Epididymal Sperm Aspiration
- PESA: Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration
- Testicular Biopsy
Compared to azoospermia, oligozoospermia is simpler to cure, however, treatment options vary depending on the underlying reason.
- Varicocele: The procedure includes surgically ligating the spermatic veins that have widened in size due to the condition.
- Infections: To treat urinary or reproductive tract infections, doctors often prescribe an antibiotic course.
- Hormonal imbalance: There are drugs and hormone replacement therapies provided to correct the hormonal imbalance.
Any azoospermia or oligozoospermia might be caused by any number of various things. There are several therapy options available depending on the cause of your azoospermia and oligospermia.
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