Male Infertility Factors | Obstructive Azoospermia

Obstructive azoospermia is a condition that occurs when the sperm is being produced in the testes but cannot be found in the semen. This is because of a blockage in the male reproductive tract. The main causes of obstructive azoospermia can include sexually transmitted diseases, scar tissue due to injuries, congenital or genetic conditions or because of previous surgeries. One method of treatment is microsurgical vassal reconstruction. In obstructive azoospermia, sperm can still be retrieved by a form of surgical sperm retrieval or SSR procedure such as Testicular Sperm Aspiration or TESA that will then be paired with IVF.

Non-obstructive azoospermia refers to a condition when mature sperm is not found in the semen due to abnormal sperm production. The pituitary hormone stimulates sperm production in the testicles and if this hormone is absent or present in a very small amount, it affects sperm production in males. Infections, hormonal imbalances, certain medications, and radiation can cause non-obstructive azoospermia. Sperm production can also be affected by varicose (swollen veins in the scrotum) and testicular failure (inability of the testicles to produce mature sperm) and can occur at different stages of the male reproductive cycle. In some cases, a form of surgical sperm retrieval or SSR is used to retrieve mature and viable sperm. For non-obstructive azoospermia, the course of treatment is often Micro-TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction), followed by In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Retrograde ejaculation is another condition that causes male infertility. This is when semen is wrongly directed back into the bladder as opposed to out of the body through the urethra. Retrograde ejaculation can be a result of diabetes, intake of medication (such as drugs used to treat high blood pressure), injury or past surgeries. Little or no semen released during ejaculation, or the presence of cloudy urine after intercourse, are symptoms of retrograde ejaculation. During treatment, sperm can be recovered from a urine sample and used during an In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) /Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) cycle. Alternatively, sperm can be retrieved through a surgical sperm retrieval or SSR procedure such as Testicular Sperm Aspiration or TESA..

Oligospermia or oligozoospermia is one of the main causes of male infertility and is a condition when the semen has a lower concentration of sperm than normal. Low sperm concentration or count could mean any amount less than 20 million sperm/ml. Very often, low concentration of sperm also means decreased sperm morphology or motility. Oligospermia can be caused due to many factors. These include poor health, aging, testicular trauma, varicocele, chemotherapy or radiation. Depending on the cause, the candidate will be started on a supplemental hormone regime to help improve quality of sperm, before undergoing an In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) /Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment cycle.

The scrotum holds the testicles and also contains the veins and arteries that deliver blood to the reproductive glands. Varicocele is a collection of enlarged veins within the scrotum due to a vein abnormality. It is similar to varicose veins which can occur in the legs. Varicocele can cause reproductive issues if the valves within the testes cause blood to pool within the scrotum, as it decreases sperm production. The pooling of blood affects the circulation and temperature of the testes, causing decreased sperm motility and poor morphology. As much as 15% of the general population is affected by varicocele. There are no major symptoms of varicocele. Cases of varicocele can be treated through a Micro Varicocelectomy. A varicocele can be remedied through Micro Varicocelectomy.