Here are the main issues with older sperm:
Decreased Motility: Sperm that has not matured will not have the adequate motility to reach and penetrate the egg. In addition, with age comes a decreased ability to have strong ejaculations, thus, decreasing the distance that the sperm will travel upon ejaculation.
Decreased Strength: Immature sperm will not have the needed strength to travel the distance to the egg, nor the needed strength to penetrate the membrane for fertilization.
Decreased Potency: The force of the ejaculatory squirt in young men is often powerful and can eject the sperm some distance. The force of the squirt, propelled by the powerful contraction of the bulbocavernosus muscles, is much less in older men than in younger men. Thus, in every measurable way male potency is clearly affected by age.
Altered Genetic Make-Up: As men age, sperm cells can accumulate mutations that are passed to offspring. Regardless of age, sperm continues to reproduce through division. If a sperm becomes altered or mutates, any other sperm that is produced by the natural division will also be altered or mutated. Each successive division introduces a slight risk of error in the genetic material of the new sperm, which is passed on to the children
And an interesting article:
Male Fertility, Age and IVF Success
In yet another study, this one also conducted in Israel at the Assuta Medical Center in Rishon LeZion, researchers found a link between male age and IVF success rates, even when donor eggs were being used.
For women over age 40 or women with low-ovarian egg reserves, donor eggs often offer the best chance for IVF success. What if the man is also older, though? Does age make a difference?
According to this research study, age did have an effect on the outcome. The study compared the sperm and embryos of couples whose IVF treatment led to pregnancy with couples for whom IVF treatment failed. All the couples in this study were using egg donors, so the age of the mother was not an issue.
They found that until age 40, the man’s age didn’t seem to have a significant effect. After age 40, though, the quality of the semen diminished, possibly leading to IVF treatment failure. They also found that embryos in the nonpregnant group were of lower quality than the pregnant group, perhaps related to poorer quality sperm.
The Final Answer:
We already know that as a woman ages, her fertility decreases, but as these studies show, age also has an effect on male fertility. Both men and women must contend with their biological clocks.
Me 28, DH 31
TTC #1 since 08/2007
<img border="0" src="http://www.fertilityfriend.com/ticker/1ac30a/ttc.png"></a>