Before taking this course on anatomy and physiology, I used to know that Aging has a significant effect on the reproductive systems especially the effects of aging on fertility. However, I did not understand all the hormonal changes involved in the decline of fertility due to age in men and women. After taking this course on Reproduction, I now comprehend all the changes in reproductive systems with age in men and women. For women the most significant changes occur at menopause while changes in the male reproductive system occur gradually over a long period. The sexual functions and fertility decline with aging. Near the age of fifty, both men and women undergo a period of physical and physiological changes (climacteric changes). (Kneil & Knobil, 2006).
The climacteric changes in women occur due to a decline in the function of the ovary. The ova and the follicles that are left become less sensitive to gonadotropins and the follicles secrete little progesterone and estrogen hormones. Atrophy occurs in the uterus and vagina, and the bone mass also declines. The vagina also thins, and vaginal infections are more common from the age of fifty. Hormonal changes in women can also cause mood changes. Female climacteric is usually accompanied by menopause (Kneil & Knobil, 2006).
During Menopause menstrual flow stops, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and producing the progesterone and estrogen in women. The premenopausal period is characterized by missed periods, changes in the menstrual flow and changes in the frequency of urination. Menopause menstrual flow stops, the ovaries stop releasing the eggs and producing the progesterone and estrogen in women premenopausal period is characterized by missed periods and changes for flow and changes in the frequency of urination (Kneil & Knobil, 2006).
Male climacteric is associated with a decline in the testosterone levels from a peak in the twenties to only twenty percent of the peak testosterone levels by the age of eighty. The decline in testosterone levels is assay accompanied by a decline in sperm count and libido. By the age of sixty-five, sperm count declines to a third of the peak sperm, levels. The prostrate gland can also enlarge and some of the prostrate tissue can be replaced with scar like tissue (Kneil & Knobil, 2006).
Neill J., & Knobil E., (2006). Physiology of reproduction. Houston: Gulf Professional