Effects of Aging on Reproductive System

Effectsof Aging on Reproductive System


Effectsof Aging on Reproductive System

Thereproductive system is one of the most vital component in a humanbody. However, as people grow old with age, they experience extensivephysical and psychological changes in their bodies. These changes arealso evident with respect to the functionality of the reproductivesystem such as the ovaries and uterus in the case of women andtesticles, semen, sperm among others in case of men. Aging in turnaffects both sexes (male and female) reproductive system as they growold with age. In addition, these aging related changes havefar-reaching consequences on the reproductive tissues and organs. Forexample, human fertility decreases as a a person grows old. This casehappens to be the same with both males and females.

Arking(2006) states that the aging process in women involves changes intheir hormonal levels as well as in the reproductive tract. Menopause(ceasingof menstruation)is the most remarkable age-related change that affects women’sreproductive system. It is an obvious aging sign that occurs betweenthe ages of 45 to 55 years. Most women at this stage experienceabsolute loss in fertility because their ovaries stop producing boththe progesterone and estrogen hormones (Arking, 2006).

Onthe other hand, reproductive aging in the male reproductive system isless dramatic and occurs more gradually and over a longer period.According to Arking (2006), these changes include testicular tissuemass decreases, a decrease in sperm production, and erectile relatedproblems. Epidemiologic studies show that there is a progressivedecline in testosterone level in older men. Additionally, theenlarged prostate gland is common in many men who are in theirsixties and above. However, compared to women, these changes cause noabsolute loss of fertility. Nevertheless, in some men reduced levelsof testosterone may lead to impotence and erectile dysfunction(Arking, 2006).

Inthe light of this information, the effect of aging with reference tothe female reproductive system is unique and varies from that ofmales. In men the changes are gradual while women experience suddenphysiological changes during menopause. Many age-related changes arenot preventable, however, in most cases medical treatment for healthdisorders that causes urinary and sexual health problems can help toimprove an individual’s lifestyle. Besides, certain symptoms suchas erectile dysfunction, loss of control in bowel movements(incontinence) and difficulty in urinating require frequent physicianassistance (Arking, 2006).


Arking,R. (2006).&nbspThebiology of aging: Observations and principles.Oxford: Oxford University Press.