Age and Male Infertility
While the relationship between a woman’s age and infertility may show up in in popular medical studies, movies, or even conversation, there is less of an open conversation about how age impacts male fertility. Stories of men having children in their later years are common, but less is seen concerning the other side of the equation. Less focus is given to the fact that a man’s age can make a difference when it comes to getting pregnant, and can make getting pregnant more difficult and can even introduce genetic and developmental risks to the child.
According to the Mayo Clinic, male infertility may be related to sperm production, problems with sperm function and impaired sperm delivery. Certain health conditions can impact sperm quality and delivery.
Some studies also suggest that male age impacts the time it takes to conceive, and the risk of miscarriages and birth defects. Sperm from an older male has been linked to genetic conditions, such as autism and schizophrenia. A study in the Journal of Urology found a higher incidence of Down Syndrome births when the mother and the father were both over the age of 35. Other studies suggest an increase in pregnancy risk when the male partner is 45 or older.
With age, certain health conditions may develop that can make conception more difficult. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and weight gain are just some of the factors that may impact fertility. Also, as men age the likelihood of experiencing Erectile Dysfunction (ED) increases. Men may have difficulty having an erection, which makes conception difficult. Seeking treatments such as medication or WAVE Therapy for ED may improve the ability to have and sustain and erection, and, as a result, may increase the chances of conception.
ED may not be primary obstacle disrupting conception; another factor at play is sperm quality. What happens with age is the number of living sperm decreases. You may have the same volume of fluid, but with lower sperm motility, which refers to the ability for sperm to move forward and navigate the female reproductive system. Or in laymen’s terms, there are fewer strong swimmers.
Another condition men may develop with age is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which enlarges the prostate gland and can make urination and ejaculation difficult. Testicular atrophy can also happen with age. This may happen as a result of low testosterone, and has been linked to decreased libido and infertility.
Some physical changes related to age are preventable, while others happen even with a proper diet, exercise, routine checkups and self-care. Some conditions associated with age and infertility can be treated. To learn more about low testosterone treatment and WAVE Therapy for ED, visit the Men’s Clinic in St. Louis.