June 02, 2017 By Dr Praveen Joshi
Breaking Down Nonobstructive Azoospermia
If you’ve ever received a frenzied call from your wife urging you to hurry home right this minute because “I’m ovulating”, this one’s for you. No matter that it’s eleven o’clock in the morning, you’re breathless from hopping all the way across the parking lot or that your boss is giving you the side-eye for being late. There’s no room for any of that. Immediately, you must tell your boss you’ve got the loosies, receive yet another side-eye and hop all the way across the parking lot again to go home. Because, you know, the ovulation stick is everything.
The trouble is, timing intercourse and getting all the elements aligned for ovulation day isn’t always enough to conceive a baby. Sometimes, your little swimmers may fall behind, not quite managing to reach the egg released by your partner. It should be written as: Sometimes there may be a situation where the sperm count is actually zero and any number of attempts may not be fruitful. This condition is called as Azoospermia. Azoospermia can be of two types: Obstructive Azoospermia and Nonobstructive azoospermia.
What Is Nonobstructive Azoospermia?
Nonobstructive azoospermia is a phenomenon that refers to the nonexistence of sperm in the semen. There are various possible causes for nonobstructive
azoospermia; hormonal, genetic or testicular anomalies. Whatever the cause, the condition mostly leads to male infertility.
What Causes Nonobstructive Azoospermia?
There are a host of possible causes of nonobstructive azoospermia:
Hormones are the driving force behind sperm production in the testicles. Pituitary hormones power sperm production. Naturally, an imbalance or absence of these hormones results in lower or nonexistent levels of sperm. A common cause for hormonal skews in men is the regular consumption of steroids.
When the testicles produce far below the required level of sperm, a likely outcome is being infertile. Factors that may lead to azoospermia include chromosomal anomalies, or damage, disease, or injury to the tesicles. In some cases, a testicular condition may be congenital; babies who are born with undescended testicles sometimes fail to outgrow the condition. In other cases, the testicles may be hampered by environmental influences, like heavy consumption of marijuana or other drugs. Such environmental triggers can hold the testicles back from producing or maturing sperm cells.
Nonobstructive azoospermia can also be spurred on by the onset of a condition
called varicocele. Varicocele is basically an abnormality of blood supply to the
testicles. This could also cause shirnking of the testis and worsening of sperm
count which could eventually lead to azoospermia. A combination of these factors adversely affects sperm levels.
Sometimes, your genes may play a role in your fertility. Nonobstructive azoospermia can be a product of a plethora of chromosomal irregularities. Y-chromosome microdeletions and karyotypic anomalies are some of these.
Must read – How Does Stress Induce Infertility?
How Can Nonobstructive Azoospermia Be Overcome?
Hormone therapy is a fitting option for men who have been diagnosed with nonobstructive azoospermia. A skewed testosterone to estradiol ratio, for example, can be overcome with a suitable course of aromatase inhibitors. The best way to alleviate symptoms related to varicoceles is a surgical procedure known as a varicocelectomy. This technique aims to cordon off the impaired veins, redirecting blood flow through an alternate network of healthy veins. Varicocelectomy might help about 40% cases to start producing sperms and hence help in conceiving. There are surgical procedures to help sperm
retrieval which could be used for ICSI (testube baby) and conceive.
Does Nonobstructive Azoospermia Hamper Pregnancy?
Absolutely not. With the myriad technological tools available, nonobstructive azoospermia can be overcome swiftly and easily. Studies have shown that semen of men with nonobstructive azoospermia have often exhibited traces of sperm. Although these sperm are usually less motile and are fewer in number, techniques like surgical sperm retrieval, in vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection help to identify healthy sperm, thereby boosting your chances of conception.
On Cloudnine, our suite of avant-garde technologies has an array of tools centred on treating azoospermia. Meet us today to get going on your journey to parenthood. By seeking a fertility plan, you can focus on the things that really matter; like reaching work on time, securing a decent parking spot and growing your family by one little miracle.
Must read – A Guide To Obstructive Azoospermia.