(713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Aug 7, 2014 — by Larry Lipshultz

A father gives his son a piggyback rideDr. Larry Lipshultz has helped countless men throughout the greater Houston area start families with their partners. Treating male infertility means understanding its causes and considering various therapies, ultimately tailoring the treatment to the needs of those involved. We take great pride in working closely with all patients so that they get the treatment that they need when it is most needed. This is particularly true with older patients, who as you're about to learn, have a number of challenges when it comes to starting families of their own.

Men Have a Biological Clock Too

While the idea of a biological clock is most commonly associated with women, men have a window of peak fertility and potency as well. Given, this is not comparable to female fertility and infertility since men are still generally fertile for the rest of their lives. That said, there are issues with fertility that men face as they get older, and studies show this to be true. For instance, it takes far less to get your partner pregnant at age 30 than it does if you are a 70 year old man. Here are some reasons why.

Age Affects Semen Quantity

Studies have found that the quantity of a man's sperm and semen tends to peak during the first half of his 30s. From then on, the quantity begins to decline to a certain degree. After hitting age 55, the quantity tends to be the lowest during that man's lifespan.

Age and Sperm Motility

Sperm motility refers to the ability for the sperm to swim properly. Age can affect the motility of the sperm. In general, sperm motility tends to be best for men who are under 25. In a man's early 30s, the motility tends to be of good quality. Overall sperm motility decreases by more than 50% after men reach age 55.

Potential Increase in Genetic Defects

The quality of a man's sperm tends to decline with age, making it more likely that a man will pass on certain genetic defects, causing congenital birth defects. This is related to the motility of the sperm but also a decline in quality in general related to the natural aging process.

Erectile Dysfunction Becomes More Likely with Advanced Age

In addition to the viability and quality of a man's sperm, his own potency is also potentially affected with age. It's estimated that at least 5% of men who are 40 years old face erectile dysfunction on a long-term basis. When men are around the age of 65, the rates increase to roughly 15% to 25%.

Even Professional Fertility Treatments May Be Affected

While natural conception can prove more difficult for men who are older, the same holds true for fertility treatments performed at professional clinics. Studies have found that men up to age 40 tend to have a fair amount of success with regard to in vitro fertilization (IVF) with a healthy female partner. When the man is older than 40, the likelihood of IVF failure and birth defects go up.

Options for Male Fertility Treatment

If you are an older man and face issues with sperm motility or sperm quality, there are plenty of treatment options available to you. We can perform sperm retrieval treatments combined with special insemination procedures that make successful pregnancy much more likely. With regard to erectile dysfunction, we can help you restore virility and general sex drive through a variety of non-invasive therapies. It's important that you stop by the practice for a consultation so you can learn about all of your options for addressing the challenges that you face.

Discuss Your Options for Boosting Male Fertility

If you would like more information about the causes of male infertility and your many options for treatment, its important that you contact our men's health center today. Dr. Lipshultz will be sure to go over all of your options for care in greater detail.