Usually, a semen sample is considered normal, when its volume is more than 1.5 ml. However, there are samples with a very small volume – 0.3 or 0.5 ml. These samples do not contain any spermatozoa, that is, they are azoospermic samples. An obstruction in the male reproductive system can be the cause of azoospermia. The measurement of acid phosphase, is a routine way to detect an obstruction in the male reproductive system.
Acid phosphatase is derived from the prostate, a small chestnut-shaped gland. The prostate produces a fluid that makes up 30-40% of the volume of ejaculation. Prostate secretions contain acid phosphatase, zinc, citric acid and other substances, all of which have the same diagnostic capacity.
In cases where the obstruction is near the prostatic urethra , the fluid produced by the prostate cannot go through. As a result, the amount of acid phosphatase in the sperm plasma will be zero and the measurement of acid phosphatase, as well as the measurement of fructose, indicates that an obstruction exists in the male reproductive system.