Introduction

Aging is the deterioration in efficiency of the body's physiological processes that is observed after the reproductive phase of life [1]. Although this phase of life is well defined in women, it has not been clearly established in men. In females, fertility reaches its biological limits as oocytes are depleted from the ovary, i.e., in woman this is associated with the attainment of menopause. However, for centuries men of old age have been considered just as fertile and capable of producing healthy offspring as their young counterparts. The ability of the male germ line to continuously renew itself has meant that males as old as 80-90 years of age can father children. Although these aged men have the ability to become fathers, are they really as fertile as they were in their youth? As a man ages, his spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) continuously produce mature germ cells, but is the quality of these spermatozoa, produced from aged stem cells, equivalent to that of those produced by young men?

As couples delay childbearing, there is increasing concern over the quality of male germ cells and the health of the children born to older fathers. Investigation into germ cells from aging men has increased public concern for the issue of paternal age. The spermatozoa of men greater than 35 years of age have a higher incidence of aneuploidy and partners of these men have a higher rate of miscarriage and trophoblast diseases [2-5] .

In this chapter, we will first discuss some of the most prevalent theories of aging. We will then provide an overview of how aging affects male fertility and discuss models of germ cell aging. Finally, we will address stem cell DNA damage and repair and the role of oxidative stress in aging germ cells.

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Get Pregnant - Cure Infertility Naturally

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