Congenital Bilateral Absence of Vas Deferens (CBAVD)

Last Updated: March 11, 2020

Definition - What does Congenital Bilateral Absence of Vas Deferens (CBAVD) mean?

Congenital absence of the vas deferens (CAVD) is a condition where the tubes that carry the sperm out of the testicles, called the vas deferens, do not develop properly and are missing from birth.

CBAVD greatly impacts a man's fertility because, with the bilateral absence of vas deferens, sperm cannot be transported out of the testes and are therefore unable to conceive naturally. This complete lack of sperm in semen is called azoospermia.

FertilitySmarts explains Congenital Bilateral Absence of Vas Deferens (CBAVD)

CBAVD accounts for 1 to 2% of cases of infertility in men and around 6% of cases of obstructed azoospermia.

The vas deferens is a part of the male reproductive tract that functions to transport sperm out of the testicles. Its function is similar to the Fallopian tubes, which function to transport the eggs out of the ovaries.

The absence of vas deferens can be unliteral (one-sided) or bilateral (two-sided)

The unilateral absence of vas deference is a less common variety of this condition. Men with unilateral absence of vas deferens can conceive naturally as long as the testicles and vas deferens of the other side are functional.

The bilateral absence of vas deference is a more prevalent variety of this disorder in which both tubes are absent. This condition is associated with a genetic disorder called cystic fibrosis (CF).

There are options to retrieve sperm from the body, bypassing the function of the vas deferens. Options include:

  • Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA)
  • Testicular biopsy

Extracted sperm can then be used in in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm insemination (ICSI). Donor sperm is also an option.

ACAVD diagnosis is made after tests like scrotal ultrasound or transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). A semen analysis is also important to determine the sperm count.

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