Men in their mid 30's: Too Late to be a Father?
Jul 07, 2008
It seems that men do not have much time left to have a baby as their biological clock starts ticking in their mid 30s. Scientists found that chances of successful pregnancy drops significantly if a man is over 35 years old
and are much lower if he is over 40 years old.
The findings of the French study of 12,200 couples undergoing fertility treatment was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference
. It says that paternal influence becomes even more important than earlier thought.
The researchers at the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in France studied couples having artificial insemination as a treatment for infertility between January 2002 and December 2006.
During this procedure called intrauterine inseminations (IUI)
the man's sperm is placed into female's uterus during ovulation. IUI treatment is considered to be less invasive in comparison to IVF( in vitro fertilization) method. It is also often used for women without a partner, having no fertility problems to produce children using a sperm donor.
The team analyzed the quantity and motility of the sperm, as well as other characteristics such as the size and the shape of the sperm. The researchers also recorded the number of pregnancies, miscarriages and birth resulting from the fertility treatment. They examined the detailed data on the pregnancies to isolate paternal and maternal factors.
The study showed that the rate of miscarriage increased if the man was in his late 30's
. The chances of successful pregnancy decreased even more if a father was over 40 year old.
As expected, women over 35 year old had more difficulties in getting pregnant and higher rates of miscarriage than younger ones, but the paternal factor was strong too. If a father was over 40 years old the risk of miscarriage increased up to 35 percent
, while for a man younger than 30 the risk is estimated between 10 to 15 percent, Yves Menezo, one of the researchers said.
Previous studies showed that sperm count and quality declines as a man ages, but until now there was little evidence that the age of a man plays such an important role on fertility.
The researchers think that the reproductive decline is caused by DNA damage in sperm
. The samples of the sperm taken from men over 40 showed more defects that might resulted in miscarriage, researchers said.
"Until now, gynecologists only focused on maternal age, and the message was to get pregnant before the age of 35 or 38 because afterwards it would be difficult," Dr Stephanie Belloc, who presented the work at the conference in Barcelona, said. "But now the gynecologists must also focus on paternal age and give this information to the couple."
She said that couples seeking fertility treatment must be offered IVF method to increase their chances of a successful pregnancy. During this process, an egg is fertilized outside the woman's womb, in a lab dish, where the outer membrane of the egg may prevent sperm with DNA decay from fertilization. Couples may also use ICSI method where an egg is fertilized by the best sperm selected for this purpose.
Nov 19, 2010 03:39 PM » posted by: me me me
meme, such an irresponsible comment. to suggest that this study in any way encourages irresponsible sexual activity is twisted.
Apr 13, 2010 07:36 PM » posted by: Caron
I have noticed a common thread with the children of my friends (both men and womem) who conceived them after the age of 35. All of them have children who have at least one major physical, developmental intellect or emotional/mental problem. Personally I feel these defects were caused from old eggs and old sperm (causing decreased quality at the time of conception).
Feb 08, 2010 09:11 PM » posted by: Skeptic
This seems impossible to me. The mother is more determining for miscarriage, if the father is 35% extra chance of misscarriage over 40, then the mother is like 45% ? so alltogether a couple above 40 would have around 80% risk of misscarriage.
Jan 01, 2009 08:20 PM » posted by: liz
Well, I'm sure in theory men have an age-related decline in fertility, but in reality it's like anything else. There are exceptions, and each man's reproductive age is different. Me and my husband had our first healthy baby boy when I was 29 and he was 47. We then had our duaghter when I was 31 and him 49 - admittedly she was 16 weeks premature, but that was down to my incompetent cervix caused by previous large baby. We then conceived number 3 when she was 6 months old, and he is now 3. With each of those pregnancies we conceived first month trying under very stressful circumstances. I am now 35, my husband 54 and we are trying for our fourth and final baby - it has taken longer than before, but to be honest i think that is more to do with the fact that we are trying too hard instead of taking a more relaxed approach as we did last time. I feel such pressure from all these statistics, that I am assuming failure before we even try. x
Jul 08, 2008 12:17 AM » posted by: abs
Hmm. Well then, how do you explain my father being 40 when I was born? And then getting my stepmom pregnant when he was almost 50?
Jul 07, 2008 05:38 PM » posted by: TaxExemPt
I'm thinking there will be a surge in sperm bank usage by men for their future reproduction. When you turn 18, store summ up so you can have nice healthy kids in the future.
Jul 07, 2008 03:42 PM » posted by: born to 48 year-old father
well, exceptions abound.
i was born in 1978 to a 41 year-old mother and 48 year-old father. i am the youngest, and my father had eight kids before me (i have 4 half-sisters and 2 half-brothers from his previous marriage, 1 sister and 1 brother from current marriage).
so i guess his fertility did go down: from 6 to 3!
Jul 07, 2008 03:10 PM » posted by: meme
The message is loud and clear then:
Men over 35 don't need to use condoms to prevent pregnancy because the chances of them impregnating a woman successfully are less.
Women can sleep with as many guys over 40 as they want and not have to worry about using birth control.
Let the party begin, and the STD rates climb.
Such an irresponsible study.
And your captcha is h0rrible
Jul 07, 2008 10:11 PM » posted by: Lora
no wonder, with alcoholism and smoking many men became less fertile today