Fertility Answers - Helping Build Families


Discover how our doctors help men overcome azoospermia

Our Louisiana fertility clinic has treated many men who have been diagnosed with azoospermia, the absence of viable sperm. The doctors on our team have enabled men to fulfill their dream of fatherhood by correctly diagnosing and treating the issue. One of the first steps is understanding the two types of this condition, obstructive and non-obstructive.

What leads to obstructive azoospermia?

This condition is present when sperm are produced in the testicles but cannot be ejaculated due to a blockage in the male genital tract. Numerous circumstances can lead to obstructive azoospermia.

  • Vasectomy
  • Infections like prostatitis, epididymitis or chlamydia
  • Complications from surgery or trauma, like scar tissue that blocks sperm
  • Congenital conditions, such as being born without the vas deferens

The doctors at our Louisiana fertility clinic can help hopeful fathers discover whether obstructive azoospermia is why they’re experiencing fertility challenges.

What are the causes of non-obstructive azoospermia?

When a man has non-obstructive azoospermia, he produces very low quantities of sperm or no sperm at all. In this case, the levels of sperm are usually so low that they can’t exit the testicles. Numerous factors could cause this form of the condition.

  • Genetic issues like an extra X chromosome or the lack of vas deferens
  • Varicoceles, or varicose veins around the testicles
  • Maturation arrest, or problems with the maturation of sperm
  • Testosterone or other anabolic steroids
  • Chemotherapy and radiation

Tests and treatment options

To diagnose azoospermia, our doctors perform multiple sperm tests and a physical exam. They may also recommend hormone testing, genetic screening and genital tract imaging. After making the correct diagnosis, the doctor will likely suggest one of the following sperm extraction treatment options.

  • Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) – Surgical extraction of sperm from the epididymis
  • Testicular Epididymal Sperm Extraction (TESE) – Surgical extraction of sperm from the testicle
  • Testicular Microdissection (mTESE) – Microscopic surgical extraction of sperm from the testicle

Any sperm retrieved from these procedures can be used for fertilization or frozen for later use in an IVF cycle. Additionally, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often used with sperm extracted using these treatment options. This procedure involves an embryologist injecting a single healthy sperm into an egg.

The compassionate, knowledgeable team at our clinic does everything possible to help patients overcome azoospermia and take home a healthy baby. Contact our Louisiana fertility clinic for more information.