What is azoospermia?
Azoospermia is a condition in which a male patient does not have any sperms in his ejaculate.
Sperms are produced inside the testes and they mature and become motile, as they travel through the epididymis. During the process of ejaculation, mature sperms are carried from the epididymis to penis along the vas deferens and the released sperms fertilise the eggs during process of intercourse. Azoospermic patients are unable to release sperms and, hence, cant cause pregnancy.
Azoospermis can be obstructive (40% cases) or non-obstructive (60% cases).
Treatment options for azoospermia
A large no of cases of obstructive azoospermia, wherein the cause for absence of sperms in the ejaculate is generally physical and mostly does not involve any disturbance in the process of sperm production, can be successfully treated by retrieving the sperms using surgical techniques. These surgically retrieved sperms are then used for fertilizing the eggs using ICSI. Some of the surgical retrieval techniques can be helpful in some cases of non-obstructive azoospermia also, where there may still be some areas of sperm production in otherwise non-functional testes.
The fertilization rates and pregnancy rates using surgically retrieved sperms are similar to those obtained using ICSI on ejaculated sperm.