Assoc. Prof. Tayfun Kutlu, MD from the Reproductive Health Center (IVF Department) at Anadolu Medical Center presents the methods to treat azoospermia – a medical condition in which a male’s semen contains no sperm
What causes azoospermia?
This is a condition, known as testicular failure, in which testicles produce no reaction to hormones. Some of the possible reasons are certain genetic defects, an undescended testicle, testicular trauma or infections (such as mumps).
Are the cases of lack of sperm common?
The condition in which there is a complete lack of spermatozoa is called azoospermia – blockage of the tube that transports sperm or any impairments to the production of spermatozoa in the testicles. It affects 5% of men. This phenomenon is observed when the brain does not produce a certain type of hormone, or if the testicles do not react to that hormone.
How is azoospermia treated?
The treatment to be applied depends on the reason behind azoospermia. Where no spermatozoa are produced at all, treatment will be inefficient. In terms of infertility, azoospermia is treated through microinjection and sperm is derived through a surgical procedure - TESA or TESЕ. Today these methods are applied for the treatment of 5% of childless couples who visit in vitro fertilization centers.
What is TESA (testicular sperm aspiration)?
This is a surgical procedure carried out with local anesthesia and the aid of a needle used to retrieve spermatozoa. The procedure is performed on patients whose sperm-transporting tubes are blocked, patients with any dysfunctions or total inability to produce spermatozoa.
What is TESЕ (testicular sperm extraction)?
Where the TESA method does not yield the expected results, the areas inside the testicle that are most likely to hold any spermatozoa are investigated by applying local anesthesia and using a surgical microscope. This process is called TESЕ. Any spermatozoa extracted through microbiopsy of these areas are evaluated and with the application of an artificial fertilization procedure (intrauterine insemination) pregnancy might be achieved. As the procedure is carried out with local anesthesia, once it is over, patients are free to return to their daily tasks. The use of a surgical microscope during the procedure prevents any damages to the testicular tissue or any interference with testicular production. It also prevents any damages to the vessels that supply blood to the testicles.