Azoospermia is the condition where there is no sperm in a man’s semen.
This leads to infertility. There can be a number of reasons why sperm should be absent in semen of a male. Genetic abnormalities with various forms of missing duct work in the testicle or from the testicle to the urethra are not uncommon. This may be hidden until a man gets married and wishes to father a child. Another cause can be mumps where the testicular ducts can be blocked or testicle atrophy ensues.
Fortunately mostly only one testicle tends to get infected with mumps, but when both testicles were affected with the mumps infection the man will have azoospermia. In the case of testicle trauma there can be such severe damage that all of the testicle is replaced with scar tissue. This does not matter in terms of fertility, if the other testicle is normal, but it can lead to azoospermia in a case where the other testicle was already predamaged from mumps in the past or in a case where both testicles were severely affected by trauma.
If sperm are present in the testicles, artificial insemination with the husband’s sperm directly obtained by syringing from the testicles can be attempted. Otherwise the couple would have to go for an artificial insemination with donor sperm knowing though that there are problems with this. For years western society did not concern itself too much about the origin of the sperm.
Now there are legal challenges about paternity testing regarding the offspring. There are reports that AIDS can be transmitted through artificial insemination with unknown donor status (does the donor have AIDS or not?). There are rightly questions about the agency that keeps frozen sperm in liquid nitrogen. Are conditions sterile or not, is the sperm obtained from healthy individuals or not?
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