News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Otago study confirms that sperm quality decreases with age

1 December 2014

New Otago study confirms that sperm quality decreases with age

Conflicting evidence about the extent to which men’s semen quality declines with age—likely lowering their fertility—is being cleared up by new University of Otago research that has collated and reviewed data from 90 previous studies from around the world.

After conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of the studies’ data, researchers from the University’s Departments of Zoology and Anatomy found consistent age-related declines in semen volume and sperm performance and increases in malformed and DNA-damaged sperm. Semen quality is regarded as a proxy for how fertile a male is.

Study lead author Dr Sheri Johnson says that understanding how age affects fertility is becoming increasingly important as couples delay childbearing toward later stages of their lives.

“While female age is well known to have negative effects on fertility, reproductive success and the health of offspring, the influence of male age on a couple’s fertility has been largely neglected.

“The effects of declining semen traits with increasing male age have largely been ignored due to inconsistencies in the literature, but our work now suggests that male age affects a variety of traits. It is well recognised that reduced sperm performance can affect pregnancy success, but it is less well known that the quality of the sperm, particularly DNA quality, could affect the development and health of the offspring,” Dr Johnson says.

Dr Johnson and her co-authors synthesised the current state of knowledge from 90 individual studies, spanning around 94,000 volunteers/patients from more than 30 countries. Their Marsden-funded study appears in the international journal, Ageing Research Reviews.

“Our study made no attempt to estimate the rate of decline, but some well-controlled clinic-based studies have observed consistent declines with increasing age, whereas others project declines after age 35 for some traits and after age 40 for others” she says.

Professor Neil Gemmell, a co-author on the paper, says the consistency in its findings suggests that further awareness of the potential consequences of male age on reproductive outcomes is needed.

“Older males contribute to increased risk of obstetric complications, miscarriage, and offspring disorders such as autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. In addition, increasing male age may be an overlooked component of couple infertility, leading to our increased use and dependency on fertility treatments, such as IVF.”

Overall, the authors advise that clinicians and the general public need to be aware of the risks associated with male age on fertility outcomes.

The authors suggest that clinical analysis of the percentage of DNA-fragmented sperm cells and a greater focus on how well sperm swim may lead to better patient outcomes during fertility treatments of ageing couples.

“These are likely more accurate and consistent predictors of a man’s fertility status than commonly clinically measured traits such as semen volume, sperm concentration and total sperm count,” Dr Johnson says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ Festival : The NZSO Goes To The Disco and more...

In the endless, anguished debates about how to make classical music more relevant to new audiences, proposals are often put forward to strip away certain elements – reduce the formality ... More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Charlotte Yates' Mansfield Project

Katherine Mansfield's vapid verses are of even less interest than her over-rated short stories, but Yates has risen to the challenge of producing a fascinating compilation album by a variety of musicians to accompany her poetry. More>>

Howard Davis: Dazed & Confused by Beats

Beats is both a coming-of-age tale and a romantic movie about endings, set to a nostalgic backdrop of the disappearing tail of the UK's illegal rave scene. More>>

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 


 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland