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Sexual queries: 'Even older men can father children'

Last updated on: April 26, 2010 18:14 IST
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Andrologist and microsurgeon Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti will be responding to rediff readers' sexual queries on a regular basis.

We invited Get Ahead readers to mail in their questions. Here is the next set of responses:

Hello Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti:

I am a single male, 28. I am planning to preserve my sperm for later use since I heard the quality of sperm decreases over age. I have three questions:

(1) I am a health conscious guy. I indulge myself with rigorous fitness regimes, which include weight training, take supplements which include ZMA, multivitamins, glutamine, gokshura, whey protien etc. How would this affect the prospects of retrieving best quality sperm?

(2) What circumstances in terms of daily life, climate, etc would be favourable for retrieving highest quality sperm for preservation?

(3) Also, just how long can sperm be preserved with a near perfect success rate for IVF for later use? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? What is the rough estimate of the cost involved? Please let me know the answers from the best of your knowledge.


Dear Vivek:

It is not true that the quality of sperms (and semen) always decreases with age. History is replete with stories of old men fathering children. It is only in very old age that testicular function starts to seriously decline. Most men are not looking to have children at those ages. The dietary supplements that you are taking are for the most part safe, but it is recommended that you give them a break every few months. You might also want to undergo a baseline semen analysis test (after 3 days' abstinence) to make sure that all's well to begin with, and then repeat this every six months or so. There are many other important causes of low sperm counts too. Among these, the varicocoele is the commonest cause. The circumstances of everyday living usually do not affect sperm counts. The prolific fertility of men in most parts of the world ought to validate this.

Despite the advancements in cryopreservation (sperm freezing) techniques, the number of functional spermatozoa available following the procedure is still unsatisfactory at many centres. Researchers have noted a considerable decline in sperm motility and viability after cryopreservation and an increase in oxidative DNA damage and DNA fragmentation following cryostorage-thawing. Thus, you are better off not contemplating all this at this stage. And by the way, sperm banking is not exactly cheap either. You'll be forking out at least a couple of grand every year.

Hi Doctor:

I am sharing my problem with you. I am living with this from a quite a long time now. Please help me. I am a 22-year-old male. Every time I masturbate I feel that I have grown fat (that my belly gets swollen and my breasts become enlarged). I started masturbation at the age of 11. I have been experiencing this problem since then. I was teased in school for my big breasts and became the butt of all the jokes. As a result I lost my confidence as I always felt embarrassed and became depressed.

I strongly feel this way (that these problems were due to masturbation only). I also feel sensation around my nipples after the act. Is there any link? Please help me out as it is ruining my life.


Masturbation does not make a person fat or thin. This point has been clarified by me in these columns many times in earlier issues. The few drops of fluid lost during masturbation hardly add up to a few calories. In any case, seminal fluid is produced in the body solely for the purpose of expulsion. One cannot lock it up and store it any more than one can lock up stools or urine. There are three entire chapters in my book, Sexx is Not a Four-Letter Word (, that address the issue of masturbation in great detail. I advise you to read them. The book is available online through many bookstores. On another note, your obesity and enlarged breasts could be due to a hormonal or metabolic problem. These need to be ruled out.

Hello Sir,

Is Sex with prostitute girls and known women safe or not? What are the precautions or medicines that should be taken after I have had sex with them, even after wearing a condom? Please consider this as a priority question and post your comments.

Thanks and regards,

Until proved otherwise, ALL sex is potentially unsafe. I have seen multiple STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in seemingly shy, gaze-dropped, head-covered women whose husbands believe they are pativratas. Sex with prostitutes and women of easy virtue is even more unsafe. Please remember that human beings are notorious liars when it comes to their sexuality. A condom does not guarantee protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Some sexually transmitted diseases like herpes genitalis, venereal warts etc can be transmitted skin-to-skin from the areas around the genitals. Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure.

Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti is an international award-winning andrologist and microsurgeon. He is the only Indian on the world's first-ever batch of sexual medicine fellows (Oxford, 2007). Best known for the Krishnamurti Operation for Peyronie's Disease, he is also the founder of Andromeda, India's first andrology center, and author of the book Sexx is Not a Four-Letter Word. Click here to purchase the book from rediff Shopping.

Disclaimer: Please note that Dr Krishnamurti will be answering the most relevant queries at his discretion each week. His advice may not necessarily reflect the opinions of and while it is in the capacity of professional medical counselling, it in no way should be considered an alternative to visiting a medical specialist for sex-related ailments.

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