In the last few years, the area of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has made significant progress in assisting couples suffering from male factor infertility. Approximately 40% of couples who are experiencing problems conceiving a child will be identified with a male issue. To determine fertilization potential, a routine semen examination is conducted to evaluate the appropriate number and quality of sperm.
Azoospermia and its types
Azoospermia is a condition in which no sperm are present in ejaculation. Some men have obstructive azoospermia (OA), in which their reproductive ducts are nonexistent or clogged, while others have no sperm production while having normal anatomy (non-obstructive azoospermia or NOA).
Until the mid-1990s, the only treatment for sperm deficiency in the ejaculate was donor sperm (azoospermia). But with the advances in medical technology men with azoospermia can also have their biological child.
A single sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of the oocyte to achieve fertilization. This treatment method is known as ICSI. If no sperm is present in the ejaculate, it is directly taken from the testes where it is created, a small outpatient operation known as (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) may be offered. The sperm can subsequently be used in ICSI if it is effective.
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