A new study has shown that a man’s age can have an effect on whether IVF treatment is successful or not
The retrospective clinical study, analysing 19,000 IVF and ICSI cycles from anonymous data provided by the the UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
It found that the influence of paternal age on live birth rates had more of an impact than previously thought.
The study showed that for women under 35 or over 40, the age of their male partner made little difference to their chances of giving birth.
But for women aged between 35 and 40, there was a ‘significant drop’ in the live birth rate if the male partner was aged 40 or above.
Professor Geeta Nargund, one of the four co-authors of the study, said the burden of fertility had long been on women’s shoulders
She told the Guardian: “Clearly it is imperative that we do not ignore the paternal age when it comes to educating couples about fertility treatment outcomes. A woman’s age obviously plays a large role but not all focus should be on her biological clock.”
“Laboratory tests showed that women with younger eggs and older partners had the capacity to repair the much higher incidence of DNA damage of sperm found in their sperm.
“However, what was really interesting is that a man’s age seems to have more impact when the woman is aged between 35 and 40.”
She said the live birth rate drops 32.8 percent when the paternal age is under 35 to 27.9 when the paternal age is between 40 and 44. Where the male partners were over 55 the birth rate was 25 percent.
“We know an older paternal age delays conception, reduces the fertilisation rate and can increase miscarriages or mental health in the offspring. But now we know that, for women in a certain age bracket, that paternal age is more significant that previously thought when it comes to live birth rates.”