Our Manhattan fertility doctor wants men to know more about age and male infertility
Most people associate age-related fertility with a woman’s biological clock, but studies show that men can also have age-related male infertility issues. In fact, one study in The American Journal of Gynecology showed an 11% reduction in the chances that a man can impregnate a woman with every passing year after the age of 40.
Decreasing sperm quality, as well as health issues that occur in older men, can cause problems that we associate with age and male infertility.
How age and male infertility are connected
Men produce sperm into their 60s and 70s, but not all sperm is the same. Studies indicate that age and male infertility are linked and age can affect sperm’s morphology (shape) and motility (movement), which are important for successful conception to occur.
Sperm morphology—Research shows that as men age, the DNA in their sperm cells can deteriorate, beginning after 40 years of age. As these genetic changes, or mutations, occur, a larger number of abnormal sperm can be found in the semen.
Age and male infertility problems with genetically abnormal sperm are two-fold: (1) these sperm are less efficient at fertilizing eggs, and (2) on the rare occasion that an abnormal sperm from a male 40 or older succeeds in fertilizing an egg, it puts the child at risk for problems such as schizophrenia and possibly autism. It can also be a cause of recurrent miscarriages.
Sperm motility—Studies indicate that sperm’s motility begins to decrease as men age, making it another factor connecting age and male infertility. To successfully fertilize an egg, sperm must be able to move forward through the reproductive system; with age, the sperm’s ability to move, as well as its ability to move forward in a linear motion, decreases.
Health-related issues are also associated with age and male infertility
Another issue that causes age-related male infertility problems is a man’s health. For example, as men age, they enter a phase called andropause. During this gradual process, men’s testosterone levels drop; over time, the tubes that carry sperm, as well as the testes, begin to deteriorate. As men age, they may also experience erectile dysfunction.
Other conditions that often affect age and male infertility are diabetes, hypertension and mental issues such as depression.
Our Manhattan fertility doctor provides compassionate advice and treatment to address age and male infertility
As men age, their bodies change, and age-related male infertility issues can stem from these changes. Our experienced Manhattan fertility doctor works with each individual to determine the source of their infertility issue, and provides diagnosis and treatment in a compassionate and helpful manner.
Contact us today if you are coping with male infertility.