Age & Male Fertility

Arizona infertility treatment options

At ARMS, we offer all Arizona infertility treatment options, for both men and women. Many people are fully aware that women’s fertility declines with age, but are men immune from any kind of biological clock?

Scientists are learning more that suggests that that the answer is no, that men, too, should also start thinking about parenthood before age 40. Most studies however, do not show a statistically significant decrease in pregnancy rates until over the age of 50.

The effect of age on men is about more than just being able to conceive. Evidence shows that older men have greater chances of fathering offspring at higher risk for birth defects and developmental disorders.

Age’s effect on hormones

With time, men and women both experience decreases in reproductive hormones. For men, that means decreased testosterone, DHEA, and estrogen, plus higher FSH and LH.

One study concluded that the older a man is when his partner conceives, the more likely she is to miscarry – even when all of her reproductive factors such as health and age are considered. Another study of 2,000 men indicated that even with IVF treatment, a father’s age figures into pregnancy success or failure.

Unlike women, who are born with all the egg cells they’ll ever have, men’s bodies are constantly making new sperm cells. The problem, however, is that time and lifestyle have an impact. As a result, more sperm is impaired in regards to DNA.

Therefore, the pregnancy is at greater risk for miscarriage and also for children born with certain problems.

DNA’s role in male fertility

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a type of biological molecule that contains genetic instructions for the development of life. A man’s DNA affects the sperm he produces, which in turn may affect the conception process and also the way an embryo develops into a child.

The result is that chromosome damage can occur because of a man’s age. For this reasons the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends that sperm donors be men who are “ideally less than 40 years of age to minimize the potential hazards of aging.” Furthermore, lifestyle plays a significant role in male fertility as well.

Lifestyle choices

While women are limited in their ability to affect egg cell health, men have many more options in producing healthy sperm. Smoking, drinking alcohol, use of legal and illegal drugs, radiation exposure are some of the most common environmental assaults on the integrity of a man’s sperm cells. Oxidative damage, too, can cause sperm to break down at the DNA level.

At our Arizona fertility clinic we offer comprehensive treatment options for both, men and women. For men, here are some guidelines if you are interested in maintaining good reproductive health:

  • Keep blood pressure under control, while also being aware that certain blood pressure medications can be detrimental to sperm.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption, especially in the months prior to attempting conception.
  • Get adequate cardiovascular exercise.
  • Avoid regular exposure of the groin area to sources of high heat such as hot tubs, Jacuzzis, and laptop computers.
  • Avoid exposure to heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, as well as radiation and toxic chemicals, including some pesticides.
  • Avoid steroid use.