Khaleeq ur Rehman, MBBS, MS(Urol), Department of Urology, McGill University, Montreal, QC.
Serge Carrier, MD, FRCS(C), Department of Urology, McGill University, Montreal, QC.
The increase in male life expectancy has raised concerns about the impact of aging on the male reproductive system. Male testicular function declines gradually with advancing age. In general, testicular perfusion is reduced, aging pigment is accumulated, and the tunica albuginea of the testes and basal membrane of the seminiferous tubules are thickened. The function of Sertoli cells and Leydig cells declines. Among the semen parameters, semen volume, sperm motility and sperm morphology are decreased. The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is affected at all levels. In some aging men, the reduction of testosterone levels leads to sexual dysfunction and "andropause". Children born to older fathers carry a higher risk of genetic diseases. This review focuses on the effect of aging on the male gonads.
Key words: aging, gonads, fertility, testosterone.