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

The association of age and semen quality in healthy men.

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1
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
12571189
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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