Does male fertility decline with age?

To put it simply; yes.

We are regularly reminded that women’s fertility declines as they get older as the number and quality of eggs can deteriorate. However, there is less information available on male fertility and age. There are plenty of stories of men old enough to be great-grandfathers still successfully conceiving and starting a family. These anecdotes contribute towards a common misconception that age does not affect male fertility. Whilst getting older does not signal the end of your chances to start a family, it can cause complications which it is worth being aware of.  male fertility and age

Sperm count and motility

This study concludes that ‘a statistically significant and inverse relationship was observed between semen volume, sperm quality and patient age.’ . In other words, your sperm quality and quantity are likely to deteriorate as you get older.  The numbers surrounding this are startling as well. The sperm motility of those aged 55 years or older was found to be 54% lower than those aged between 30-35 years old.  If you combine this with the fact that sperm counts have dropped on average by 50% over the last 40 years then this is something you should be keeping a close eye on if you are an older man trying to conceive. 

Sperm DNA damage 

It is not just sperm count, morphology and motility that matter though. Over recent years we have started to see the importance of DNA structure within sperm when trying to conceive. If the DNA in the sperm head is damaged it significantly reduces the chances of a successful conception. If you do successfully conceive in spite of having damaged DNA, then miscarriage or birth defects become more likely. This is borne out in a study carried out on 80 healthy male participants which concluded that ‘age-related increases in sperm DNA damage predict that men who delay fatherhood may have increased risks of unsuccessful and abnormal pregnancies as a consequence of fertilisation with damaged sperm.’  

Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Age is also directly related to ED – its prevalence increases as men get older, particularly those over 40. Having problems with ED can result in complications when trying to conceive. It can result in missing out on the optimal time in her cycle to try to conceive and in some cases can even stop any successful sexual intercourse from taking place. ED is also directly related to stress and, given the stress involved when trying to conceive, this issue can be a difficult one to overcome as you get older. 

Whilst getting older does not eliminate the chance for men to have a natural conception, it still adds obstacles to any efforts in starting or growing your family. If you are looking to optimise your sperm quality ahead of trying to conceive, consider making some simple lifestyle changes from the list below to help give you the best possible chance. 

Supplements

An easy change you can make is to start taking a nutritional supplement to support your fertility. We highly recommend that you take Impryl which can help improve sperm motility and, crucially, can help to enhance the quality of DNA within your sperm. Impryl achieves this by delivering balanced support to your metabolism in a tablet formulated with activated micronutrients. Other male fertility supplements tend to be laced with strong antioxidants that can actually contribute towards damaging the DNA in your sperm. You can learn more about how Impryl helps to protect sperm DNA on our website. The product has been shown to be successful for many which is why medical professionals across the UK recommend it to their patients. On top of this there are hundreds of reviews you can read here.

Exercise 

One recent study has found that men who had intense workouts had better sperm motility than men who didn’t exercise much.

Diet 

Introduce some different foods into your diet and look to avoid eating processed foods and drinking alcohol. To learn more about this you can check out our blog which explores the top foods you should include in your male fertility diet

Stop smoking

Quitting smoking is the best option for fertility. Studies have shown that smoking has an impact on sperm parameters and can also contribute towards erectile dysfunction.

Sleep 

Having a healthy sleep pattern is a simple way of fighting any problems you might have with ED. Getting good sleep also is conducive to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan.