WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Azoospermia (a-zoo-SPER-mee-ah) is a condition where a man has no sperm present in his semen. It is a major cause of male subfertility. Subfertility is a condition where a man has been unable to get a woman pregnant after one year of unprotected regular sex. Azoospermia may be from an obstructive or nonobstructive cause. An obstructive cause is where the flow of sperm is blocked from leaving the body. This may include infections, trauma, or be due to genetic causes, such as congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens. Other obstructive causes include a varicocele or vasectomy. A nonobstructive cause may be due to a problem with sperm production. Nonobstructive causes include a hormonal imbalance, radiation, certain drugs such as chemotherapy, or retrograde ejaculation. Other nonobstructive causes may be due to smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs. The male reproductive system includes the testicles, prostate, penis, scrotum, vas deferens, epididymis, and seminal ducts. Each testicle inside the scrotum produces sperm.
- Signs and symptoms include being unable to produce a child, and increased body hair and breast tissue. A clear, watery, or whitish discharge from the penis may be seen. A mass or swelling on the scrotum that feels like a bag of worms may also be present. A complete physical, reproductive, and sexual health history may be needed to diagnose azoospermia. Diagnostic tests may include semen analysis, blood tests, certain imaging tests, a testicular biopsy, and genetic screening. Treatment may include medicines, sperm extraction, percutaneous embolization, and surgery. With treatment, such as medicine and sperm extraction, your infertility may be resolved and your partner may conceive.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
Eat healthy foods:
Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.
- Avoid pesticides: Chemicals, such as pesticides, may lower your sperm count.
- Have frequent sex: Frequent sex increases the number of healthy sperm.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol decreases sperm production. It is found in beer, wine, liquor, such as vodka and whiskey, and in other adult drinks.
- Stop smoking: Nicotine may affect the condition of the semen.
- Wear appropriate clothes and avoid hot baths: Heat decreases sperm production. Wearing underwear, such as briefs, keeps testicles close to the body. This warms up the testicles and may decrease sperm production. Underwear, such as boxers, do not keep testicles as close to the body.
For more information:
Having azoospermia may be hard for you. You and those close to you may feel angry, depressed, or frightened. These are normal feelings. Talk to your caregivers, family, or friends about your feelings. You may also want to join a support group. This is a group of people who have the same condition as you have. Contact the following for more information:
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine
1209 Montgomery Highway
Birmingham , AL 35216-2809
Phone: 1- 205 - 978-5000
Web Address: http://www.asrm.org
- International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination
P.O. Box 6836
Arlington , VA 22206
Phone: 1- 703 - 379-9178
Web Address: http://www.inciid.org
- RESOLVE The National Infertility Association
1760 Old Meadow Rd, Ste 500
McLean , VA 22102
Phone: 1- 703 - 556-7172
Web Address: www.resolve.org
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have chills or feel weak and achy.
- You see some changes in your body, such as increased body fat, body hair, or breast tissue.
- You have pain in the groin area that does not go away.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
- You feel very sad and depressed, or you want to harm yourself or someone else.
- You feel very full and cannot burp or vomit (throw up).
- You have an abnormal discharge from your penis.
- You have pus or a foul-smelling odor coming from your incision.
- You have severe (bad) chest or shoulder pain and trouble breathing all of a sudden.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.