Having a natural and safe pregnancy is the dream of every couple. This dream is a culmination of many factors in both men and women. Azoospermia is a male condition which can create a hurdle in achieving a natural pregnancy.
What is Non‐obstructive azoospermia (NOA)
Azoospermia, in general, means the total absence of sperm in the ejaculate. There are mainly two types of this condition:
- Obstructive azoospermia – The absence of sperm is a result of an obstruction
- Non-obstructive azoospermia – Abnormal sperm production
Non‐obstructive azoospermia (NOA) is a severe form of male infertility where there is no sperm in the ejaculate due to failure of spermatogenesis. NOA could be due to internal testicular impairment or inadequate production of gonadotropin. Chromosomal or genetic abnormalities should be evaluated. If NOA is due to insufficient gonadotropin production, fertility can be improved by medical treatment.
This rare condition affects one out of a hundred men, and in total, one out of ten men have some fertility issues. ZIVA fertility centre helps identify the cause of non-obstructive azoospermia. With the aid of assisted reproductive technology (ART), those with Non‐obstructive azoospermia can also become a father now.
What Are the Causes of Non‐Obstructive Azoospermia?
Here, we see some of the causes of Non‐Obstructive Azoospermia
- Genetic disorders.
- Damaged hypothalamus
- The testicles haven’t dropped
- The testicles are completely absent.
- The inability of testicles to produce sperm
- Congenital condition because of genes that carry cystic fibrosis.
Genetic Causes: Y-chromosome microdeletions and karyotypic abnormalities, and the most common karyotypic abnormality is called Klinefelter Syndrome. The male affected by Klinefelter Syndrome possesses an extra X chromosome. In about 10 per cent of non-obstructive Azoospermia patients, the genetic abnormalities are detectable.
Hormonal causes: Sperm production is caused by the stimulation of pituitary hormones. So naturally, in a deficiency or absence of these hormones, sperm production is hampered. If men take steroids in excess, such hormonal deficiencies could occur.
Exposure to Radiation and Toxins: If men are over-exposed to toxins, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, their sperm production is impaired.
Medications: Medications which are known to be testosterone supplements can disrupt the normal function of the reproductive system.
Varicoceles: Sperm production can also be affected by varicoceles, which is a condition where the varicose veins in the scrotum are swollen. The swollen veins cause blood pooling in the scrotum, which negatively affects sperm production.
What Are the Symptoms of Non‐Obstructive Azoospermia?
Most men are not aware of this condition, and they do not pay attention till they are unable to conceive, even after multiple attempts. So please be aware of the following conditions:
- Erectile dysfunction.
- When the hair on the body and face starts reducing.
- Discomfort around testicles
- Limited or reduced sex drive
How is Non‐Obstructive Azoospermia treated?
Medical treatment depends on the underlying cause of non-obstructive azoospermia.
- If hormonal imbalance is the reason for this type of male infertility, then hormone therapy can be helpful.
- For men who have an abnormal testosterone-to-estradiol ratio (T/E2), aromatase inhibitors can help in improving sperm concentration and motility.
- Stay away from toxins and adjust your testosterone medications for improved sperm counts.
- If a male has to undergo chemotherapy, then sperm banking is most recommended.
- The surgical procedure for Varicocelectomy can help reduce the swollen varicose veins by tying off the affected veins and re-routing the blood flow through healthy veins.
Please undergo genetic counselling before starting any treatment, as it will help you understand the root cause of Non‐Obstructive azoospermia and determine the chances of the same condition repeating in your child. During your first visit, our expert fertility specialists at ZIVA fertility clinics will check your reports and decide the best line of treatment.
Is Pregnancy Possible with Non‐Obstructive Azoospermia?
There was earlier thought that the usage of donor sperm or adoption was the only way of fathering a child for males with Non‐Obstructive Azoospermia. If testis biopsies are done on men with non-obstructive azoospermia, they do have sperm, although it could have lower motility. This low-motile sperm can be used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) during in vitro fertilization (IVF).
A procedure called testicular sperm extraction (TESE) coupled with ICSI is most suitable for men with non-obstructive azoospermia. TESE can be performed under local or general anaesthesia, and the sperm retrieved through this process can be used in IVF procedures.
ZIVA fertility clinics can certainly help you with intracytoplasmic sperm injection or in vitro fertilization to conceive a biological child.
With many advancements in the field of fertility, please do not give up if you are unable to conceive a child naturally, even after multiple attempts. Find our best ZIVA fertility clinics, which are located at all major hubs of Hyderabad. We are specialists in the treatment of both male and female infertility. For more information, please visit our website https://zivafertility.com/ or contact us at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024