Azoospermia is the medical condition of a man not having any measurable level of sperm in his semen. It is associated with very low levels of fertility or even sterility,
Azoospermia can be classified into three major types
1. Pretesticular azoospermia
2. Testicular azoospermia
3. Posttesticular azoospermia
Pretesticular azoospermia is characterized by inadequate stimulation of otherwise normal testicles and genital tract. Typically,follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels are low (hypogonadotropic) commensurate with inadequate stimulation of the testes to produce sperm. Examples include hypopituitarism, hyperprolactinemia, and exogenous FSH suppression by testosterone. Chemotherapy may suppress spermatogenesis Pretesticular azoospermia is seen in about 2% of azoospermia.
In post testicular azoospermia sperm are produced but not ejaculated, a condition that affects 7-51% of azoospermic men. The main cause is a physical obstruction (obstructive azoospermia) of the post testicular genital tracts. The most common reason is a vasectomy done to induce contraceptive sterility. Other obstructions can be congenital (example agenesis of the vas deferens as seen in certain cases of cystic fibrosis) or acquired, such as ejaculatory duct obstruction for instance by infection.
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