Male Age and Fertility
It's common knowledge that the age of a woman affects her ability to conceive. Egg quality diminishes as women get older. Pregnancy can be challenging to achieve if the woman is past 35 years old even if she takes advantage of the artificial reproductive technologies available like in vitro fertilization.
There's a great deal of literature written about the age of women and fertility, but very little (in comparison) available about the impact a man's age has on his fertility. One may begin to wonder: Is a man forever fertile?
Sperm Studies and Male Age
Although not much is available in mainstream media about the connection between a man's age and his fertility, numerous studies have been done on the topic. The University of California, School of Public Health conducted a study in 2003 to "characterize the association between age and semen quality." The study was published in the US National Library of Medicine in the National Institutes of Health.
The study collected samples from 97 non-smoking men from between the ages of 22- and 80-years-old. None of the men had known fertility problems. Each man provided a semen sample as well as information about his diet, occupation, lifestyle and medical history. Total sperm count, sperm concentration, sperm mobility and sperm volume were all measured.
Semen decreases each year
The study concluded that the volume of the semen decreased by 0.03 ml per year. Motility decreased by 0.7 percent per year and progressive motility decreased by 3.1 percent per year. The researchers at the U of C School of Public Health concluded that there was a "suggested decrease in sperm concentration and count."