At least 10 to 20 percent of men who have male infertility have azoospermia, known as zero sperm count. This means their sperm production is abnormal in terms of numbers and quality.
There are three causes for azoospermia:
- Insufficient hormones (low testosterone). This can be easily established by blood tests.
- A problem in the testis producing sperm.
- A blockage preventing sperm from getting out either at the level of epididymis, the vas deferens or the ejaculatory duct.
Determining the cause of zero sperm count
Dr. Lerner can determine the causes of zero sperm count by performing the following:
- A complete medical history
- A physical examination
- Blood tests
- Additional semen tests
Oligospermia - Low sperm count
Low sperm count, known as oligospermia is caused by abnormal sperm production in the testis.
Determining the cause of low sperm count
Like azoospermia, causes of oligospermia, or low sperm count, can be determined by medical history, physical examination, blood tests, or radiological studies; however, there are a significant number of times when it is still uncertain. Your physician may recommend a variety of therapies which may include hormonal therapy or surgery to repair a varicocele in an attempt to increase the low sperm count.
If the initial evaluation does not uncover a clear cause of your infertility, Dr. Lerner may recommend one of three options to ensure a conclusive cause:
- Diagnostic testicular biopsy if obstruction is suspected
- Testicular biopsies, also known as testicular mapping, evaluates sperm production throughout testes
- Proceeding directly to sperm retrieval with microdissection testicular sperm extraction