Azoospermia | Blockage of Sperm Cells

Published: Feb 27, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Road closed due to blockage

Azoospermia is a health condition in men in which there are no sperm cells in ejaculated semen. In humans, azoospermia affects about one percent of the male population.

Some common causes include:

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  • a blockage preventing sperm from mixing with semen (for instance, a problem with the vasa deferentia or with the ejaculatory ducts);
  • decreased or absent sperm production by the testes (due to, for instance, an abnormality of the testicles or a lack of hormones that stimulate making sperm cells);
  • medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation;
  • recreational drugs such as some narcotics;
  • vasectomy (male sterilization), which prevents sperm from joining other fluids in the semen.

Mind that in most cases testosterone is still produced normally. Sperm comes from so-called Germ cells in small seminiferous tubules within the testes, and testosterone comes from Leydig cells.

Depending on the cause of azoospermia, the best treatment is a customized approach based on many individual factors, such as the age of the person and reproductive function, physical exam findings, blood test results, long- and short-term family goals and even finances.

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