How age affects the male reproductive system - an overwiew.
As men age, their reproductive systems too undergo a lot of changes, most often slow and gradual and much less noticeable as compared to those in women.
These changes do not just affect fertility in men; they also bring associated problems related to libido, sexual performance, urinary tract problems and much more. Often termed as andropause this phase of the male reproductive system needs to be well understood so as to ensure better management as age progresses.
While men remain fertile for much longer as compared to women and older men are capable of fathering children; there are several factors that affect fertility in men as they age. Some prominent ones are:
- Testosterone deficiency: As a man ages, the amount of testosterone hormone produced
Male Reproductive Health Trivia
In a male body, the sperm is the smallest cell while in a woman; the egg is the largest cell
A man can produce sperms even on a single normal testicle
- Sclerosis of the sperm producing tubes: Sclerosis is another reason for a reduction in fertility in men. Although the prostrate loses the cells on its surface, semen production does not stop. However, sperm count reduces.
Prostrate and urinary problems
- Benign prostrate hyperplasia: Many older men experience this condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged. This gland, which is situated below the bladder enlarges and causes urinary problems.
- Vesicoureteral reflux: This is another common urinary disorder that develops with age. In this condition, urine does not drain completely from the bladder and flows back into the kidneys. The reflux can have harmful repercussions such as kidney failure if not treated in time.
- The penis shrinks as a man ages. Getting an erection as well as maintaining it becomes a problem. Multiple ejaculations during a single intercourse almost stop.
- Men also experience a decrease in sex drive as they age. Problems with erection and a reduction in sex drive could be a result of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiac ailments and hypertension that develop with age.
- Medication can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Cancer of the prostate gland has become very common in the recent times and age has been related to increase in cancer risk. Bladder cancer and testicular cancer are two other cancers that are related to aging.
Seeking medical treatment
Although men experience a reduction in sex drive, complete lack of response is not normal and might indicate an underlying illness, which warrants immediate medical attention. The same applies to which too is abnormal and must be discussed with the doctor. All urinary problems and prostate related issues must never be ignored and medical help must be sought at the earliest.
Age does not necessarily mean that a man cannot have a sexual life. Most of the men can enjoy a good sex life even in old age. However, their health condition, the kind of diet they take and physical activities during middle age have an influence on reproductive health later in life.