DOES A MAN’S AGE AFFECT FERTILITY?

Bayo Ajibola

old black man

When it comes to fertility and getting babies people are told to get it done as soon as they can. Women are especially reminded about their proverbial biological clock that is ticking away into infertility. The pressure to conceive gets higher and higher for women as they get older.

It is a totally different story for men however. They are not bothered about time and age constraints since well, they are men. The macho man has no qualms about his manhood and siring children because no one ever tells him about any ticking clocks. So can a man’s age stop him from having children?

Eventually it will but not as soon as a woman. Men can continue getting children well into their 70s and even 80s (there is living proof!). This does not mean that there are no changes occurring in their bodies as they age.

The male hormone testosterone takes a dip very slowly as compared to the female estrogen and progesterone during menopause. This means that men will continue to have children and enjoy sex for much longer compared to women. With time however, the quality and quantity of the sperm dwindles.

More damaged sperm in semen

Good quality sperm plays a big part in the resulting fetus. As sperm ages it gets damaged. The body gets rid of damaged sperm through a process called apoptosis. This process happens in both old and young men but it is not that efficient in older men.

This leaves damaged and unhealthy sperm in semen. This may lead to genetic abnormalities in babies but the risk is increased if the woman is over 35 (because a younger woman’s body can repair damaged DNA from sperm thus giving healthy babies).

Takes longer to conceive

Sperm are slower so getting to the cervix in time for ovulation may be tricky. The time it takes to get pregnant with an older man is therefore much longer, sometimes a year or even more (and that is while having sex regularly, around every 2 or 3 days during your cycle).

Obesity and conditions like diabetes and heart disease come with age. Any additional weight reduces the sperm count and diabetes and heart disease affect a man’s ability to get an erection.

Luckily for them a few lifestyle changes like more exercise and proper diet can make a huge difference. Where the tubes thatcarry sperm are blocked a simple surgery can be used to open them up and continue getting great sperm.


Bayo Ajibola

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