Counting On Fertility: Does a Man’s Sperm Decrease with Age?

As one gets older, worries about fertility tend to surface. For women, this starts earlier because the female body has a finite number of eggs available due to biological reasons; hence as they age, the number and quality of their eggs decrease making it harder to get pregnant. But what about men? Do they need to worry about their sperm count or quality decreasing with time? Let's unravel the mysteries behind male fertility as we explore whether a man’s sperm count decreases with age.

Counting On Fertility: Does a Man

What is Male Fertility?

Before delving into the question at hand, let us first examine what determines male fertility. A man’s ability to fertilize an egg depends on various factors such as sperm production, movement (motility), shape (morphology) and quantity (we can't forget quality too!) These factors result in what is known as a Semen Analysis Test which measures semen characteristics like volume, concentration of sperms per milliliter of semen and percentage motility.

Age vs Male Fertility

While it isn’t taboo for women over 35 years old seeking conception help from doctors due to diminished ovarian reserve compared with younger counterparts males may exhibit some subtle but significant changes regarding reproductive potential when crossing certain age thresholds.

The Early Years

In comparison to middle-aged or older gentlemen; those in late teenage years have no reason for concern since males hit peak reproductive function between ages 20-25 accompanied by highest rates of daily produced viable equips rounds out roughly upward around millions measurable sperms/mL /day and three months post-developed matured realized progression.

The Late Twenties – Thirties

From late twenties through thirties guys might not manifest any persistence observable modifications but microscopic evaluations demonstrate subtly lowered levels noticed given enough observations carried out right trends should start being noted against typical healthy range levels expected.

Perhaps worth fetching eggs sitting on the fence about starting a family and want to experience daddy-hood down the line sooner not late yet it is observed that progeny from dads thirty five or older tend to more frequently have afflictions especially autism spectrum disorders Down syndromes dementia plus safety of pregnancy may be put at risk due possible links between paternal age lengthier timeframes taken before conceiving increased likelihood potential health issues noted.

Over Forty

Over forty years old, males note further declines in quantity and quality specifically motility which refers to the swimming speed and direction by spermatozoa as well as morphology. As one grows older past fertility maturity cycles become separated allowing elderly gents minimum chances count manageable whereas fresh samples via ejaculated can expect nearly triple figures 200 million viable /mL.

As per WHO (World Health Organization), below table represents consequences for any given criteria of semen evaluation:

Criteria Normal Borderline Abnormal
Volume >=1.5 ml <1.5 ml -
Sperm Concentration >=15x106 sperms/mL >10-15x106 but <15x106 <10 x 106
Total number - - < 20 million

It should be noted that even though all values are normal no guarantee exists regarding getting pregnant because other aspects like genetic proclivities medical profiles condition factors influence sex cells beyond just production itself; however reduction indicators present implications along with lowering availability options couples conceive arduous. Keep those timeline expectations healthy!

The Why's behind Reduced Sperm Count & Quality Due To Aging?

At first, it might seem unfair that only women face biological clocks while men go through life without such worries when we consider declining sperm count and quality. However, men are not immune to the effects of aging on their reproductive potential, as seen in numerous studies.


The hormone testosterone plays a vital role in male fertility by regulating sperm production; hence reduced levels result in decreased quantity and poor quality made available during also throughout ageing process leading up to causes eventual infertility issues accordingly contributed by few factors such as lifestyle choices genetics impact medical conditions along with exposure harmful chemicals toxins or radiation e.g., X-rays which can indeed harm DNA .testosterone concentrations tend drop significantly approximately one percent each year post reaching thirty years lots shorter explained sometimes succinctly summary called it: "physiological - ANDROPAUSE."

Oxidative stress

Our bodies produce molecules known as free radicals that damage cells via oxidative stress leading breakdowns normal working cellular activity including influencing negative changes effecting portions inside genetic-code related spermatogonial stem cell survival, differentiation renewal processes promoting increasingly amount deformed abnormally working speed swimmers, DNA diffusion affecting morphological attributes thereby complicating odds fertilization attempting implantation. Other reasons may include varicoceles (an abnormality causing dilation of veins within scrotum), infections experienced behavior exercise dietary habits environmental drug consumption longevity-issues etc..


It would be inaccurate to suggest that male fertility completely disappears at certain points since various cases show successful fatherhood for males above fifty years old. Nevertheless it makes sense considering conception plans earlier down the line than chance risking further deterioration development maturation chances feasible offspring later steps carried out physically anatomically speaking.

So when should you start worrying about your sperm count? If you're below forty years old and healthy with no reason indicating otherwise yet feel concerned bout future family planning protect while you're young! And if above forty adults wishing progeny resources reasonable sense sought after!!

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