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Association between age and epididymal and accessory sex gland function and their relation to sperm motility.

Research paper by Saad S Elzanaty

Indexed on: 07 Jul '07Published on: 07 Jul '07Published in: Archives of andrology



Abstract

Increased male age has been associated with significant reduction in pregnancy rates. This study investigated the association between age, the function of epididymal and accessory sex glands, and their relation to sperm motility. Ejaculates from 498 men assessed for infertility were analysed according to WHO [1999] guidelines. Seminal markers of epididymal (neutral alpha-glucosidase (NAG)), prostatic (prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and zinc), and seminal vesicle function (fructose) were measured. Four groups according to age were defined: G(21-30) (21-30 years), G(31-40) (31-40 years), G(41-50) (41-50 years), and G(>50) (51-66 years). Percentage progressive motility was significantly lower in G(>50) compared with G(21-30). NAG, PSA, zinc, and fructose were significantly lower in G(>50) compared with G(21-30). In a multiple regression analysis model, NAG and PSA showed positive significant association with percentage progressive motility. The opposite trend was found regarding zinc. No association between fructose and percentage progressive motility was shown. In this cross-sectional study, declined sperm motility observed in men over 50 years of age might be due to age-dependent changes in epididymal and accessory sex gland function.