Quantitative effects of male age on sperm motion
Authors: Sloter, E.; Schmid, T.E.; Marchetti, F.; Eskenazi, B.; Nath, J.; Wyrobek, A.J.
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 21, Number 11, November 2006 , pp. 2868-2875(8)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Semen quality is associated with fertility status, but there is little quantitative information on risk factors that affect semen quality, especially in non-clinical populations. Advancing male age has been associated with a decline in semen quality, with the largest effect being on sperm motility. However, there is little quantitative data on the specific components of sperm motion that are affected by male age. METHODS: We performed linear regression analyses of 14 aspects of semen quality measured by computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) in a non-clinical cohort of 90 non-smoking men, aged 22–80 years, who had no history of infertility or reproductive problems. RESULTS: We found age-associated declines in CASA-determined motility (% motile, 0.8% per year; % progressively motile, 0.9% per year; % rapidly motile, 0.4% per year, P ≤ 0.001) and three quantitative aspects of sperm motion [linearity (LIN), 0.2% per year; straight line velocity (VSL), 0.2% per year, and average path velocity (VAP), 0.3% per year, P < 0.05], with no evidence for age thresholds and no significant association with abstinence duration. Age was not significantly associated with amplitude of lateral head (ALH) displacement, beat cross frequency (BCF) and nuclear elongation or size. CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative analysis of sperm motion indicates that as men age, they produce fewer motile sperm, which are able to travel less along a linear path, thus covering less forward distance per unit time. These findings may have fertility implications for men who choose to delay fatherhood.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-11-01
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.