It is a widely known fact that aging is associated with a decline in female fertility, with a progressive decline in oogenesis which ultimately affects reproduction rate. However, the effects of aging on spermatogenesis have been studied less extensively. In their paper published on Reproduction, Pohl, Wistuba, Gromoll and Laurentino provide a thorough review of the known effects on spermatogenesis of “healthy aging”, i.e. aging in the absence of any other underlying condition. Despite DNA fragmentation increase and DNA methylation pattern change, phenomena often associated with aging, having a healthy lifestyle might help to preserve a normal reproductive status in men. During aging, the decreased efficiency of spermatogenesis is “compensated” by an increase of spermatogonia, suggesting imbalanced spermatogonial stem cells regulation in aged men.
Pohl E, Gromoll J, Wistuba J, Laurentino S. Healthy ageing and spermatogenesis. Reproduction. 2021 Feb 1:REP-20-0633.R1. doi: 10.1530/REP-20-0633. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33574214.