Aging changes in the male reproductive system may include changes in testicular tissue, sperm production, and erectile function. These changes usually occur gradually.
Andropause; Male reproductive changes
Unlike women, men do not experience a major, rapid (over several months) change in fertility as they age (like menopause). Instead, changes occur gradually during a process that some people call andropause.
Aging changes in the male reproductive system occur primarily in the
The tubes that carry sperm may become less elastic (a process called sclerosis). The testes continue to produce sperm, but the rate of sperm cell production slows. The epididymis, seminal vesicles, and prostate gland lose some of their surface cells but continue to produce the fluid that helps carry sperm.
The prostate gland enlarges with age as some of the prostate tissue is replaced with a scarlike tissue. This condition, called
In both men and women, reproductive system changes are closely related to changes in the urinary system.
EFFECT OF CHANGES
Fertility varies from man to man, and age is not a good predictor of male fertility. Prostate function is not closely related to fertility, and a man can father children even if his prostate gland has been removed. Some fairly old men can (and do) father children.
The volume of fluid ejaculated usually remains the same, but there are fewer living sperm in the fluid.
Decreases in the sex drive (libido) may occur in some men. Sexual responses may become slower and less intense. This may be related to decreased testosterone level, but it may also result from psychological or social changes related to aging (such as the lack of a willing partner), illness,
Aging by itself does not prevent a man from being able to enjoy sexual relationships.
Medications (especially those used to treat
Erectile dysfunction that is caused by medications or illness is often successfully treated. Talk to your primary health care provider or a urologist if you are concerned about this condition.
BPH may eventually interfere with urination. The enlarged prostate partially blocks the tube that drains the urinary bladder (urethra). Changes in the prostate gland make elderly men more likely to have
Backup of urine into the kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux) may develop if the bladder is not fully drained. If this is not treated, it can eventually lead to
Prostate gland infections or inflammation (
Many physical age-related changes, such as prostate enlargement or testicular atrophy, are not preventable. Getting treatment for health disorders (such as high blood pressure and diabetes) that lead to changes in urinary and sexual health may prevent later problems with urinary and sexual function.
Changes in sexual response are most often related to factors other than simple aging. Older men are more likely to have good sex if they have continued to have sexual activity during middle age.
Aging changes in hormone production Aging changes in organs, tissues, and cells Aging changes in the kidneys