Men produce millions of fresh new sperm each day. But like women, their fertility declines with age.

Though men never stop producing sperm, they do see a decline in semen parameters (count, morphology, and motility) as they age. This can affect their ability to father healthy children. It may also cause infertility.

Ejaculation

While stories of men fathering children well into their 90s might make you believe that male fertility is everlasting, the truth is that sperm counts and motility decline with age. The good news is that there are ways to improve sperm health and increase fertility, including healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and herbal supplements. However, a man’s natural fertility declines gradually with age, and this can contribute to lower pregnancy rates and a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The human body makes sperm in the 2 testicles (also called the scrotum), a sac of skin that hangs below the penis. The sperm leaves the testicles, and moves to the prostate gland and the ejaculatory tubes called the vas deferens (VAS-def-er-enz) that connect with the seminal vesicles to form semen. When a man orgasms, muscle contractions force semen out of the penis and into the urethra. The sperm mixes with the seminal fluid to form ejaculate, which is then pushed into the female’s vagina during sexual contact.

A man’s first ejaculation typically happens around the time of puberty, which begins at different times for each individual. Typically, the first ejaculation happens through masturbation or a wet dream, and is accompanied by pleasure. During this first ejaculation, the volume of the semen is small and clear, and it has a jellylike consistency.

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Sperm count

Men don’t stop producing sperm throughout their lives, but sperm count decreases with age. This is because the quality of sperm declines as you get older. You may also produce fewer healthy sperm, and this can lead to a lower chance of getting pregnant. This is because of reduced sperm motility and semen volume, which can cause fertility problems.

Sperm production requires normal functioning of the testicles and the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, which produce hormones to trigger sperm production. Once sperm is produced, delicate tubes transport it until it mixes with semen and is ejaculated from the penis. This process can be disrupted by various health conditions. In some cases, the problem is not identified until it’s too late.

A doctor can determine if your sperm count is low by testing a sample of your semen. The doctor will look for the number of sperm per milliliter of semen and the rate at which they move. A normal sperm count should be at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. You can also check your sperm morphology, which measures the shape and structure of your sperm. A low sperm morphology measurement is often due to genetic mutations that damage the DNA of your sperm.

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While aging can affect your fertility, it’s important to note that there are many ways to improve your chances of fathering a child. Some of these methods include taking testosterone boosters, vitamin D, folic acid, and dietary supplements like Ashwagandha and Tribulus.

Sperm motility

While stories of men fathering children well into their 90s may lead you to believe that male fertility rates remain unchanged, the truth is that sperm motility decreases gradually with age. Sperm motility refers to how well a sperm swims, and low-motility sperm can have problems fertilizing eggs. There are many causes of low sperm motility, and some of them can be corrected through lifestyle changes.

The most common way to test sperm motility is through a semen analysis. This test involves a sample of your semen that is evaluated by a human or computer to determine the percentage of sperm that moves progressively forward. This test also evaluates the sperm’s shape and morphology. In order to obtain a good quality sample, you should abstain from sexual activity for two to seven days before the test.

Other factors that affect sperm motility include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and heat exposure. Wearing tight underwear, spending extended periods of time in saunas and hot tubs, or sitting in front of a computer or laptop can all cause excess heat that can damage sperm. Medications such as high doses of acetaminophen (Paracetamol) and lansoprazole can also reduce sperm motility by depressing the Na+-K+-ATPase activity. Fortunately, many of these problems can be overcome with some simple lifestyle modifications and careful attention to diet.

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Sperm morphology

Men can produce sperm throughout their lives, but the quality of these sperm cells can decrease with age. A man’s fertility also changes depending on his overall health, as well as the foods he eats and the medications he takes. Even a minor medical condition such as varicoceles can affect sperm production. Men with low sperm morphology are less likely to conceive naturally, but fertility treatments like IVF can help.

The sperm morphology test measures the shape of a man’s sperm, and it can be a useful tool for couples trying to conceive. It focuses on the head, neck, and tail of a sperm cell. A sperm’s head carries the genetic information that can fertilize an egg, while its neck and tail help it swim to an egg. A normal sperm has a smooth, oval-shaped head, a slender neck that extends from the head, and a single tail that’s thinner than the neck.

Male fertility declines with age, but it does so gradually and many men are able to father children into their 80s and 90s. A man’s fertility is also impacted by how often he has sex, as frequent sex creates healthier sperm. A man’s semen quality usually peaks between the ages of 30 and 35. Having healthy sperm is vital for fertility, and some physicians recommend freezing a man’s sperm at an earlier age so that they can be used later to conceive.