How Aging Affects Male Fertility
There has been much discussion on the effect of aging on the fertility of men. Although in the past, many assumed that infertility is a problem that only women suffer from, a lot of studies and research have been made which showed that infertility among men is also quite common. One of the major causes of male infertility is aging.
While women usually experience a sudden end of being fertile at the onset of menopause, men do not actually just stop being fertile in the same way. However, based on studies, the reproductive abilities of men do decrease with age. Men do continuously produce sperm but there is a considerable decrease in the sperm count, concentration and motility from the age of 25.
How exactly does aging affect male fertility?
First, the physical condition of the male sex organ deteriorates with age. Testicular mass decreases as men age. The level of testosterone or male hormones can also be affected, although there are some men whose testosterone levels remain the same throughout their lives. Through sclerosis, the tubes that carry the sperm become less elastic. Although the testes are able to continuously produce sperm, the production rate is slower. Also, as men age, the epididymis, seminal vesicles and the prostate gland lose more surface cells, although the fluid that carries sperm is continuously produced.
Aging can also affect the sperm quality. Researchers have recently found out that the genetic defects in sperm do increase as men grow older, which can possibly lead to decreased fertility. Aside from this, scientists have also reported that older men are more likely to pass genetic problems and other disorders to their offspring. These disorders include Apert Syndrome, Marfan syndrome and Retinitis Pigmentosa and many others.
As men age, they are also more likely to suffer from various physical conditions, including benign prostatic hypertrophy. These can easily and significantly affect male fertility.
Although the amount of fluid that is ejaculated by men throughout their lives is about the same each time, the number of viable sperm that can actually reach the egg and fertilize it decreases as men get older. The muscles that are responsible for male ejaculation also get weaker over time. Older men do not usually ejaculate in the way that younger men can. This could affect the motility of sperm which can affect a manís ability to effectively send his sperm to the womanís egg.
It does not necessarily follow that older men are completely incapable of fathering children. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of effective ways to increase male fertility. If you are trying to conceive and fear that your age could be the cause of your infertility, try going consulting with your physician to be informed of your options and what steps you can take to improve your chances of conceiving.
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