The Male Biological Clock. Tick Tock!

The Male Biological Clock. Tick Tock!

Having seen so many patients for testosterone replacement therapy over the years, there is an interesting trend that I’m starting to notice. The issue of “biological clock ticking” now applies to both sexes.

Where previously this was seen to be a purely female problem, you now have a scenario where men in their late 30s and early 40s need to quickly make their minds up about finding the right girl and getting pregnant. A situation previously plaguing women in their 30s mostly. The reasons for this are a decrease in quality (poor swimmers, abnormal shapes) and quantity of men’s sperm. The causes of this decrease is multifold.

What causes a decrease in sperm quality?

  • The rise in stress levels (despite your wonderful ability to manage your stress)

  • Environmental toxins including that from frequent flying

  • Depleted nutrients due to lifestyle and depleting resources

  • Cycling- yes that pressure on the testis for prolonged periods can be an issue

  • Anything that increases the temperature of things down there eg tight underpants/jeans

  • Radiation emission from laptops – this is low levels, continuous and prolonged. And becoming a huge issue of late for those who actually place it habitually on their laps

  • Radiation from mobile phones – the jury’s out on this. We don’t know the answer yet. Read this blog for a neutral take on phones and you can make your own mind up

  • Age-related depleted hormonal profile

  • Commencing testosterone replacement therapy

From my point of view, as a practitioner looking after them; I’m able to optimise them and make them feel great. But at the same time, I have to find a balance and be able to minimise any chances of reduced fertility with combining HCG or Clomid to their regimes, amongst other interventions. For some patients, they even consider freezing their sperm in the same way a woman would freeze her eggs.

It’s a rather odd discussion to have in a culture where it’s not uncommon for a man of 70 to father a child (although we have no idea of the quality of that successful sperm). The point of this blog is to raise awareness that this is an increasingly common issue. Hidden as no one really talks about it. Not to be taken lightly. And not to be relegated to being only a “woman’s” problem.


  1. De Jonge, C. and Barratt, C. L. (2019), The present crisis in male reproductive health: an urgent need for a political, social, and research roadmap. Andrology. doi:10.1111/andr.12673

  2. Gideon A. Sartorius, Eberhard Nieschlag, Paternal age and reproduction, Human Reproduction Update, Volume 16, Issue 1, January-February 2010, Pages 65–79, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmp027

  3. Roustaei Z, Räisänen S, Gissler M, et al Fertility rates and the postponement of first births: a descriptive study with Finnish population data BMJ Open 2019;9:e026336. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026336

  4. Sharma, Rakesh et al. “Effects of increased paternal age on sperm quality, reproductive outcome and associated epigenetic risks to offspring.” Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E vol. 13 35. 19 Apr. 2015, doi:10.1186/s12958-015-0028-x

  5. Yatsenko, Alexander N, and Paul J Turek. “Reproductive genetics and the aging male.” Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics vol. 35,6 (2018): 933-941. doi:10.1007/s10815-018-1148-y

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