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Eeyore

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  • "Eeyore" started this thread
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Reg: Sep 27th 2005

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Thursday, May 10th 2007, 7:23am

Azoospermia

Azoospermia

Azoospermia is the complete absence of sperm in the semen and as such means that a man will be completely infertile. The diagnosis of azoospermia is sometimes still made even though as many as 500,000 sperm per ml of semen may have been seen because it is extremely unlikely that the man will be able to father a child naturally with this number of sperm. Its incredible to realise that millions are needed for any chance of natural conception!

However, modern techniques such as ICSI (intra cytoplasmic sperm injection) mean that a man can still father his own biological child with expert medical help - This means that you must ask your doctor whether you have either (i) a very low sperm count so that you know you do at least make some sperm or (ii) absolutely no sperm at all which is the worst case scenario for any man to face.

In fact it is rare that a man has absolutely no sperm at all and as long as some sperm are produced it is possible nowadays to help couples have children via the ICSI procedure. So, if the doctor says you have azoospermia make sure you ask for a copy of the semen analysis results so that you can understand the situation.

Azoospermia occurs in about 2% of men in the general population. So whilst not common there are plenty of infertile men around - in the UK alone we would expect to find at least 300,000 men with azoospermia and many of these would appear extremely healthy and have no indication that any problem might exist !

Around 10-20% of men attending infertility centers will probably have azoospermia as well. This means that if you and your partner have been trying for a year or more to have a baby there is an increased risk that you may have a problem.

Aspermia is an absence of any ejaculate (semen) and is much rarer.



Please Note : The finding of azoospermia often comes as a surprise for a couple since there often are no symptoms (there frequently is an ejaculate and a normal ejaculation process). Whilst this can be very distressing it is possible to offer treatment through a fertility specialist in many cases so it is important not to just give up and think there is no hope. If treatment does fail it is possible to help some couples by using the new ICSI procedures.




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