Dear Dr G, As we are approaching the New Year, I read the query from last week’s reader with interest! I admire the “generosity” of Virile Mike over his confidence with his virility, as he contemplates donating his gametes for a childless couples. On the other hand, I guess I am facing dwindling fertile seeds, perhaps due to my advancing years. I am 42 years old and my wife is five years younger than me. We had a child 10 years ago when I was climbing the career ladder. In the last three years, despite still being able to work “hard” in the bedroom, my wife and I have difficulty in conceiving! We went to the specialists, who told us my wife has no issues with her organ; somehow I am the one facing the problem. The doctor told me that my sperm count is diminishing and I may need to consider IVF. Don’t get me wrong, I have no objection against test tube babies, it’s just that if possible, we would like to have the baby naturally. I hope to put Dr G on the spot for the last time in 2017 – why I was able to do it the first time around and fail on this occasion? Is it common? Can you tell me why is my virility dwindling? Is it due to my advancing age? Are there any risks of “ageing” sperm to an unborn child? I am determined to crank up my performance in the New Year, and Dr G is again put on the spot for the tips to revive my virility in 2018. On that note, I wish you and readers a wonderful New Year! Regards Vincent Infertility is the inability of a person to reproduce by natural means, which affects many couples in modern society. Primary fertility is defined as the absence of a live birth for couples who desire a child despite regular sexual intercourse for at least 12 months. Secondary infertility is defined as the absence of childbirth since the last live birth. A study in 1997 suggested that primary infertility affects around 5% of all heterosexual couples, while the true prevalence of secondary infertility is unknown. In recent analysis, it is projected that 20-30% of infertility are due to male factors, 20-35% are female in origin and 25-40% are due to both issues. The exact etiology of infertility which continues to escalate is unknown. However, couples deferring childbearing to later stage of life is believe to be one of the major factors. Apart from age, Australian researchers revealed obesity as the second cause of subtle damage of sperm structure, preventing healthy pregnancy. The semen quality is commonly used as a surrogate measure of male fecundity. Technically, an ageing man may remain overtly virile on the outside, but what truly matters is what is deposited in the pots of the masturbatorium! Data collected from semen analysis has demonstrated that increasing age in men is associated with a decline in semen volume, sperm number, motility and morphology. And of course, the bulging tummies do not help either! The studies that focus on female age, comparing men under 30 years old with men over 50, revealed a decrease in pregnancy probability by 23% to 38%. The decline can be due to the fact that men above 50 years old produce 25% less sperm than their younger counterparts. What is happening in the scrotal sacs is that 90% of the seminiferous tubules of a 40-year-old contain mature sperm. Half of the tubules contain sperm by the age of 60. And by the time men reach 80, only 10% of the tubules are still functioning! Hence, most of us can look forward to shrinking nuts in the pants in years to cum! Of course, most men would argue anything is possible if Rolling Stone front man Mick Jagger can work his magic to father his eighth child at the age of 73. Indeed, when men are gifted with hundreds of millions of sperm per ejaculate, the numbers game is irrelevant, even in advancing age! Having said that, for those men who are contemplating “moving like Mick Jagger”, it must be highlighted that a large scale Israeli study found that children of men above 40, were nearly six times more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder compared with men under 30. Besides, increased paternal age is also correlated with mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. The American Poet, E. E Cummings (no pun intended) famously said: “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” When Dr G is put on the spot for the last time in 2017 on whether the risk of ageing dwindling sperm is worth the worry, his response is simply – “As we venture into 2018, believe in yourself!” “Creating life is a risk of curiosity, wonder and spontaneous delight. And above all, the ‘sexperience’ may eventually bring about the magic of human spirit!” On that note, have a wonderful New Year to Vincent and all readers! Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/online-exclusive/putting-dr-g-on-the-spot/2017/12/31/ageing-sperms/#XOD8cKCek3m9HJc7.99 Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.