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Oct 6, 2015 — by Larry Lipshultz

Erasing pictures of spermWhen men experience issues with infertility, erectile dysfunction, or other issues related to men's health, they can count on Dr. Larry Lipshultz for expert advice and advanced care. He is one of the leading urologists and men's health specialists in the Houston area, and he offers expert advice as well as state-of-the-art care.

We'd like to use this blog post to consider male fertility issues and the causes of infertility in men. In particular, we want to focus on the affects that age have on your ability to father a child.

Age and Infertility: What Is the Link?

Many people still believe that an 80 year old man has the same chances of father a child as an 18 year old man. In fact, that's not the case. This has nothing to do with erectile dysfunction either. As a man ages, his sperm production and sperm quality changes as well. It would be much more difficult for an 80 year old to father a child than an 18 year old regardless the age of his partner.

How Much Does Male Fertility Decline with Age?

It's been estimated that a man's ability to successfully fertilize an egg through natural means declines by up to 11% with each year of age after 18. This means a significant dip in likelihood over a long period of time.

We noted above that sperm count and quality change with time. As men age, there is a decline in sperm count, sperm motility, and overall sperm health. All of these contribute to the reduced likelihood of fathering a child.

Risks of Birth Defects Increases as Well

In addition to reduced chances of pregnancy through natural conception, age can also increase the risk of a child being born with a birth defect of some form. The risk of Down syndrome increases when the age of the parents is over 35. Men over 35 also contribute to an increased risk of schizophrenia in children.

It's clear that there is a biological clock at work for men and women, and it needs to be taken seriously for anyone who is seriously considering a family.

When Should I See a Fertility Specialist About These Problems?

If you have had trouble conceiving for a year straight, it's a good idea to visit with a fertility specialist. You will be able to learn about the root cause of the problem, whether it's a male infertility issue or a female infertility issue. From there, treatment options can be proposed and discussed in full detail.

Treatment Options for Male Infertility

When it comes to male infertility a number of options are available.

In vitro fertilization (IVF), artificial insemination, sperm retrieval, sperm washing, and the use of a sperm donor can all be helpful. If neither of these is ideal, adoption is always a great option to keep in mind as well.

Learn More About Male Fertility and Infertility

For more information about treatment options for age-related male infertility issues, be sure to contact our male fertility and urology center today. Dr. Larry Lipshultz and the entire team at the practice looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve optimal health and wellness.