Monday, July 07, 2008

Study Finds Conception Less Likely With Older Fathers

Study Finds Conception Less Likely With Older Fathers

Researchers have found that younger fathers produce healthier, more viable sperm. It takes both a healthy sperm and a healthy egg to have a successful pregnancy.
AGE & FERTILITY: It is well-known that women have a harder time getting pregnant and face a higher risk of miscarriage as they age. A new study shows men 35 or older also face problems becoming parents.

by Patricia McFadden
Informify Staff Writer
July 8, 2008

French researchers conducted a study of over 12,000 couples undergoing fertility treatments. They found that conception is somewhat more difficult when the father is over 35 and significantly more difficult when he is over 40. The percentage of miscarriages also increased dramatically among women with older partners.

Miscarriages Double When Father Over 40
Researchers at France's Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction examined the results of 21,239 cases of intrauterine inseminations (IUI) in more than 12,000 couples. Their findings showed that maternal and paternal age had a significant effect on the outcome:

Age and pregnancy rates:

Women under 35 14.5%
Women over 35 8.9%
Men under 35 12.3%
Men over 40 9.3%

Age and miscarriages:

Men under 35 13.7%
Men over 40 32.4%

Reproductive Aging Affects Men Too
Dr Allan Pacey, a fertility expert at Sheffield University and secretary of the British Fertility Society, said the Eylau study "reinforces the message that men aren't excused from reproductive ageing."

"Previous studies of couples trying to conceive naturally or undergoing IVF [in vitro fertilization] have shown that men over the age of about 40 are less fertile than younger men," Pacey added. (BBC News, 7/06/08)

The Eylau researchers suggest that as men age there is increased DNA damage in their sperm, making fertilization more difficult and miscarriage-causing defects more likely.



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