Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Reprod. 2003 Feb;18(2):447-54.

The association of age and semen quality in healthy men.

Author information

School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.



Although the effect of maternal age on fertility is well known, it is unclear whether paternal age also affects fertility. This cross-sectional study sought to characterize the association between age and semen quality, a well-known proxy of fertility status.


A convenience sample of 97 non-smoking men (aged 22-80 years) without known fertility problems was recruited from a national government laboratory. The men provided semen samples and information relating to lifestyle, diet, medical and occupational details. Semen volume (ml), sperm concentration (x10(6)/ml), total sperm count (x10(6)), motility (%), progressive motility (%) and total progressively motile sperm count (x10(6)) were measured.


After adjusting for covariates, semen volume decreased by 0.03 ml per year of age (95% CI: -0.05, -0.01); motility decreased by 0.7% per year (95% CI: -0.92, -0.43); progressive motility decreased by 3.1% per year (95% CI: -4.5, -1.6); and total progressively motile sperm count decreased by 4.7% per year (95% CI: -7.2, -2.2). There was a suggested decrease in sperm concentration and count. The proportion of men with abnormal volume, concentration and motility was significantly increased across the age decades.


In a convenience sample of healthy men from a non-clinical setting, semen volume and sperm motility decreased continuously between 22-80 years of age, with no evidence of a threshold.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center