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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MY DH was diagnosed with azoospermia (no sperm- absolutely none!) in Feb. 2003.......we were told that this is a rare condition.....and I am wondering if anyone has every come across any statistics about HOW RARE???
Would be very interested in knowing!
We have been left in utter disbelief since we just learned that someone else in the extended family received this diagnosis!  It is peace-giving to feel less alone- let me tell you!!!!......but we can honestly say that I NEVER, EVER thought we would EVER meet someoen else in our situation...so it has left us in shock to discover someone in the extended family!
Look forward to hearing from anyone! Take care, Gwendolyn
 

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Gwen
it would be interesting to maybe set-up a poll for the reasons behind it all.

My DH has it too and has told he only had very primitive sperm cells and therefore no sperm can ever be produced.  Others have it but its due to an obstructions etc.

Do you know what your DH's is??
 

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Hi Gwen,

I don't think it's as rare as people would make us believe.  My DH is also azoospermic and was finally diagnosed with Sertoli Cell only in June this year.  He was also born with an undescended testicle which was operated on when he was 6 so this may have all contributed to it.  The frustrating is, that, they can not tell is if there was ever any  ^sperm^ so there are so many unknowns in male factor infertility.  Being on this site has really opened my eyes to the fact that there are lot of us going through the same thing and for all different reasons.

Take care,  Anne xxxx  ^Cuddle^
 

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I also don't think it's that rare.  There are so many people just on this site who's husbands have azoospermia, mine being one of them.  We never discovered why though as we never investigated further and I know there can be many reasons for it.  But, it is interesting to note that dh's brother also has no children, but we've never discussed with him and his wife why (we're not that close), it could be choice. 

Jayne x 

 

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Hello Gwen
I read somewhere on the internet that around 2% of all men and about 20% of men with male factor infertility have azoospermia.  My DH's is caused by klinefelter's syndrome  (having an extra x chromosome). All men with this have azoospermia although sometimes sperm can be obtained directly from the testes.
                    Collyx
 

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Jayne

my MIL's brothers have no children either and you do sort of wonder whether its inherited and passed on from the women to the men??? However DH's brother has children?

The docs never really said much about it to us just wrote on the letter that only primitive sperm cells were found which would be unable to be used in ICSI.  DH had mumps when he was you ger but docs think its something from birth due to all his hormone levels etc.
 

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My DH is also azoospermic - failure of production they think due to an infection he may have had years ago (not a sexually transmitted infection) and not even known about it. The scarring got so bad due to the infection and slowly over time DH has produced less and less and now NIL. (PESA and TESE has confirmed this)

Interestingly he carries the CF gene but they say there is no connection as the vas deferren ( not sure how to spell it) is in tact. All other chromosone tests have come back okay and he has a normal FSH and testosterone count, which indicates he should be producing but isn't. A year ago he was producing around a million sperm (not much granted) and within a space of 3 months went to NIL.

Nat xxx
 

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My DH also has Kleinfelter Syndrome and this is the reason for his azoospermia.

Is testosterone levels one of the routine tests they do?  I've read that men with KS can have low testosterone levels which can lead to osteoperosis, lack of energy etc, but we've never been told what his levels are (weren't even told that he had KS until very recently)

Not sure whether to tell DH about what I've read and suggest that he asks GP for testosterone test, or whether I would be worrying him unneccesarily????
 

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Hi Wolla,
My DH has low testosterone levels. We were initially told they were normal but the doctor had not interpreted them correctly. When he was found to have KS (tested for because we wanted to try icsi) he was referred to an endocrinologist at the hospital who checked out his hormone levels properly. He has been having extra testosterone for about two years using either an injection or a gel. He has to go back every six months to have his levels checked and the dose he takes amended.He has a bone density scan every year and they have found that they are low density and he is at risk of osteoperosis - the extra testosterone should make it less likely. He says that he does have more energy now. I think it would be a good idea for your DH to have his level checked. Not all men with KS have  low levels but my DH is glad he knows and is being treated for it.
                  Collyx
 

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Thanks Colly
Will try and get him to get it checked out.
Might make him more up for a ^hump^ too eh  ^evil^

Cheers
Wolla
x
 

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My DH has Azoo too! His is due to a balanced translocation in his chromosomes (basically DNA has got mixed up! he has everything he needs but some is in the wrong place!!!)!

I've stopped worrying about what is rare and what isn't - we keep being told not to worry about things cos they're so rare.. and each time we find out that we've got the rare thing!!!
S
xxx
 

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Hey girls

Have started lurking on the donor sperm thread as we too are azoospermic, initially diagnosed as non-obstructive as FSH was measured at 16 2 years ago. We had SSR and 9 vials retrieved but they defrosted poorly and all got used up in first cycle. We were then told chances of successfully retrieving sperm was for 2nd time was about 50% (initially they said 20%) and to use donor. Then DH started producing sperm in sample again (a few thousand) and we had a good cycle, then he stopped and we had a bad cycle.

We're now called cryptozoospermia.

We are having blood tests and sperm analysis repeated as a urologist in US (Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery, Cornell University) thinks that he may be able to stabilise sperm production.

We were within the normal range of testosterone but on the lower end of normal, if you know what I mean. However, he is more interested in the ratio of testosterone to estradiol. If anyone is also NOA and reading this, and are interested here is the link to the hormonal therapy discussion.

http://www.maleinfertility.org/new-noa.html#hormonal

My point being that even the fertility specialists don't know much about azoospermia, all they are interested in is getting enough sperm to try for ICSI. Whther or not it's good enough sperm or the right sperm or whether or not there are potentially other health implications for men with azoospermia, well, that just doesn't come into it! At least that's been my experience so far.

So the more we pool our information, the better!

DH is going to get the full examination by urologist when we go to NY as he has never had ultrasound and I too am (slightly) worried that there my be implications for long-term health.

Oh yes, I also heard that 2% of men are azoospermic (broadly half and half obstructive/non-obstructive) and CABVD is about 1 in 2500. Y chromosome deletion is about 10% of azoospermic men, but how they split up after that into the A, B, C I don't know.

I hope you don't mind me hovering in the donor sperm wings, every so often we think we should call it a day and go for DIUI. We've had counselling, and we even had a donor lined up for our 2nd and 3rd cycles...
 

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Claudine
of course we dont mind - any support is great we are all here to help one another. xx
 

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(DH speaking)
I was diagnosed with Azoospermia on 3 separate tests and ended up having surgery to find it. In the end this was a wrong diagnosis. Technicians look for sperm by putting a grid over a tiny area and seeing how many sperm they see through the microscope- this is how they estimate sperm count. If YOUR embryologist looks carefully enough they will probably find a few sperm. There is a technique pioneered by Dr Fishel at CARE in Nottingham which combines consecutive samples of ejaculate and spins the sperm at high speed to concentrate it. This maximises the chances even more. They do not need many sperm for ICSI.

Unless your husband has a diagnosed syndrome on a genetic screening test where they can predict WHY he is azoospermic I would advise you to follow this course first. The operation is invasive and in my experience expensive and ultimately unnecessary.

As it has turned out with me we used my brother's donor sperm as it increased our chances- it has meant a great deal to me knowing that I do produce some sperm however. Due to our situation and experience I am more than willing to enter into private discussions with anyone on this subject.
Good luck to all !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just want to thank everyone for all their comments! 

Like Alex28 indicates, my mind has been trying to connect the dots up between my DH and his cousin who shares the same diagnosis.  My DH's paternal grandfather and DH's cousin's maternal grandmother are brother and sister....which leads me to believe that if there is a connection- it is obviousy passed along one of the "X" chromosome (and hence, as a male in the family- it all depends on whether you receive that marked "X" or not.....full brothers could not necessarily get that same particular "X"....and perhaps that "X" skips generations)...but hey- I am DEFINITLY not an expert in this area.

My DH is low on testosterone (still in the "normal" block....like Claudine's partner)....and I haven't heard about Kleinfelter Syndrome...I will have to look that up for my own interest.  He decided against using hormone therapy (injection/gel).
My DH chose not to pursue measures to retrieve possible sperm through surgery as he felt that if one had to go searching for a handful of sperm (when there should be millions upon millions)....then how healthy and resilient could those few sperm be??  He didn't feel that those exceptional sperm would survive the "ride" of IUI or IVF.  Nevertheless, your point is poignant re: ICSI and Dr Fishel's efforts, PippaA. 

We continue forward and pray and hope that the next DIVF will bring us a child....we are being encouraged by the clinic to give it another go (or 2) given our "success" (sigh!) at my being pregnant for 10 weeks (then miscarried).  As for my DH's cousin and wife- they have chosen to pursue international adoption.......which also, remains in our "back pocket". 
The real "funny" part is that apparently DH's cousin and wife thought about donor sperm for awhile and checked out the recommended website............and were actually "eyeing up" our chosen donor sperm!  Can you even imagine the ramifications of that....had we both become successfully pregnant!!!!!!????????  No harm done- but just VERY amusing dynamics!
Take care, Gwendolyn
 

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Dear Gwendolyn
(Mark, DH speaking) Your DH may think that a handful of sperm cannot be any good but he is completely misundersanding the science of the process- a sperm is a pretty uncomplicated thing- all the competition is in the journey which  is by-passed through IVF. There is NO evidence that using a single selected sperm via ICSI is any different in terms of outcome than with natural conception. The body is designed to compete with OTHER MALES not with one's own sperm.In the end the sperm delivers the DNA (Y chromosome) - it is only a major factor in infertility because of the low numbers produced failing to make the journey and a connection with the egg- using IVF takes this problem away. I think you need to look at scientific judgements to make your decisions (not superstition unrelated to facts) to reach your goal. It is a little known fact that most couples trying for a baby get conception but only 1 EGG out of 5 ever has a chance of successfully becoming an embryo- this is why IUI can takes so many attempts to work. We have had a very long journey and have had to take a long hard look at the chances of different options- each time has been valuable in learning lessons and adjusting to get  a successful outcome. Good luck to you and your DH
M
 
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