Male infertility accounts for over one-third of the fertility issues. Male infertility may be attributed to abnormal sperm quality, low sperm mobility or low sperm count. One of the common of these infertility problems in males is Azoospermia.
What is Azoospermia?
Azoospermia is a condition of male infertility where there is a complete absence of sperm from the semen (fluid ejaculate). It affects about 1% of the male population and about 15% of the infertile couples.
What are the causes?
Azoospermia could be caused by multiple issues. In cancer patients, who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatments, the cells that produce the sperm are killed. Hence the testicles will produce semen without sperm rendering the individual infertile. Azoospermia can also occur if there is any reproductive tract infection, groin injury or genetic conditions. This can lead to infertility issues. The most common cause is vasectomy which leads to blockage of the tubes that carry sperm from testicles to your penis. This is performed as a birth control measure for men who have completed their family. Here, the testes are making the sperm but it is blocked. Azoospermia may also be attributed to other factors such as obesity or age.
Are there any symptoms for Azoospermia?
There are no apparent symptoms for Azoospermia. It can only be detected after a clinical test. If a couple is trying for a family and is unable to do so even after 1 year of unprotected sex, they must not neglect signs of male infertility and get themselves tested. Azoospermia is usually diagnosed with a microscopic examination of the semen at separate instances. Blood tests with abnormal hormone levels can also indicate the condition.
Stem cells are an avenue in regenerative medicine that can help in repair and regeneration of damaged tissues. Stem cells are unspecialized cells of our body that can form any cell type further replacing the damaged or injured tissues. Latest research has shown that stem cell therapy is a new ray of hope for Azoospermia patients. Although, adult stem cells cannot directly involve in the production of sperms; studies have signified that they can definitely help in creating a favorable environment to increase the motility of the sperms. They also help in restoring the level of testosterones in the body and can hence restore fertility. Stem cell therapy can thus be a future of reproductive medicine and fulfill the dreams of thousands of childless couples.