Occlusion is the medical term used for any blockage in a woman’s or man’s reproductive system. In men, a blockage in the duct system (the epididymis or the vas deferens) may prevent sperm from reaching the ejaculate.


This condition can only be detected by transrectal ultrasound, vasography or seminal vesiculography.


For men, causes include:

  • Scar tissue left from abdominal surgery
  • Congenital conditions
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Hernias
  • Vasectomies

For men, one available treatment option is called a vasovasostomy, a procedure in which the doctor reconnects the ends of the vas deferens together once the blockage has been removed. The procedure restores continuity to the vas deferens to restore sperm in the ejaculate. Success of the procedure depends on a number of factors and should be discussed with a urologist or other healthcare professional.

If the couple does not want surgery or they are not candidates, or if the occlusion is not treatable, a testicular biopsy can be performed to remove sperm from the testes and stored for possible use with IVF/ICSI in the future.

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