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What is azoospermia?

What is azoospermia? As part of our treatment by a fertility specialist, I had to give a semen sample for examination. The doctor said that I have azoospermia, and that we'll need to do more tests to figure out why. What is azoospermia and what is probably causing mine?
Azoospermia is a description of the finding of no identifiable sperm in a semen sample submitted during a fertility workup. There are several causes of not having any sperm in the semen. "Pretesticular" azoospermia occurs when normal reproductive organs are not properly stimulated due to imbalanced hormone levels. These levels of hormones can be measured and this type of azoospermia can be treated by fixing the hormone levels. "Testicular" azoospermia refers to a problem within the testicles themselves that prevents sperm production. There is usually no easy treatment available for testicular azoospermia, but sometimes viable sperm can be recovered directly from testicular tissue. Finally, "posttesticular" azoospermia is caused when sperm are normally produced but the tubes leading out of the testes are obstructed Sometimes these tubes can be reopened, or sperm can be recovered directly from the testes. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Discussing this in person with your fertility doctor is highly recommended.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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