Male aging and infertility facts
- Like women, men also experience a decline in fertility with age.
- It’s a gradual process known as andropause.
- As men age the quality and quantity of their sperm can decrease.
- Their testosterone levels can also decline and their testicular tissue can deteriorate.
- Erectile dysfunction is more likely to become a factor with aging.
- Taking care of his overall health is the best way a man can prevent age-related fertility problems.
- We offer several treatments that address male infertility caused by aging.
The relationship between male aging and infertility
The physicians at Dallas IVF know that many women feel pressure from their biological clocks to start a family. However, Dallas IVF wants men to know that they also experience an age-related decline in fertility.
Although men continue to produce sperm throughout their lives, there is a link between male aging and infertility.
Male aging and infertility is characterized by a number of symptoms
While menopause is widely understood, Dallas IVF physicians educate people about the lesser known syndrome of andropause. Andropause is a gradual process that refers to the relationship between male aging and infertility. A number of factors can cause age-related male infertility.
- As men age, they experience a decline in the quality and quantity of their sperm.
- Aging men see lower testosterone levels and deterioration of testicular tissue. Lower testosterone can cause difficulty with ejaculation and decreased libido.
- Men are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction as they age, which can be caused by low testosterone levels. The probability of severe ED has been shown to increase threefold for men between the ages of 40 and 70.
- Older age also relates to it taking a longer time to achieve conception.
A study from the American Journal of Gynecology found that a man’s chances for getting his partner pregnant drop 11% each year after the age of 40. Taking into consideration the effect of female age in a couple, one study showed that during a 12-month period, men over 40 years old had a 30% lower chance of pregnancy success than men younger than 30.
Another factor of male aging is a decrease in the frequency of sexual relations, which can have an effect on conception. One study showed that before age 40, men had sex an average of 6.5 times a month. That reduced by one or two days per month after age 50.
Studies have found a link between low sperm quality and birth defects
Sperm count and sperm motility rates tend to decrease with age. However, even if an older man’s sperm appears to be normal, it is still not genetically identical to a 20-year-old man’s sperm. In fact, researchers have found that the DNA in sperm cells starts to break down around the age of 40, resulting in an increase in chromosomally abnormal sperm.
Although abnormal sperm are less likely to fertilize an egg, it’s not impossible for fertilization to occur. As a result, an older man may still be able to impregnate his partner with abnormal sperm, which can increase the risk of certain problems for the baby, including birth defects and congenital diseases.
While occurrences are rare, men over the age of 40 are more likely to have children with autism or schizophrenia. Additionally, when an embryo is fertilized by abnormal sperm there is an increased risk for miscarriage.
There are several conditions that may also appear with age-related male infertility
Men who experience an age-related decline in fertility may also experience other health problems, including depression, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, hypertension and urological disorders. This is because male fertility is tied to a man’s overall health. As such, the best way for a man to reduce the effects of age-related infertility is to take care of his overall health.
If you would like to learn more about male fertility treatments at Dallas IVF, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our team of physicians provides state-of-the-art treatments to help men overcome male infertility.