Answer from: Àlex García-Faura, MD
During fertility treatments, the male partner’s age can give us some problems and difficulties, especially, when they are over 50. In those cases, even if those patients have already had healthy kids, they might have some problems giving us good success rates on fertility treatments because we do know that those patients will have the poorest quality on their semen analysis. Especially, they will have high a degree of DNA fragmentation on their spermatozoa, and they will also have a high risk of giving abnormal or aneuploid embryos that might finally give us implantation failure or the highest miscarriage rate.
Trying to reduce this problem related to the male partners’ age, we might need to use some specific sperm selection techniques and try to select the spermatozoa with lower fragmentation or lower risk of chromosomal abnormalities. In this way, we try to increase the implantation rates in those cases and reduce miscarriage rates.
Answer from: Diana Obidniak, MD
While female fertility comes to the inevitable end with menopause (around the average age of 51), men are not constrained by similar biological senescence. Thus, the effect of male ageing on reproduction remains more controversial. Male ageing provokes direct DNA damage, increases DNA methylation, and compromises spermatogenesis. As a result, paternal age may harm reproductive outcomes. However, the studies on this topic demonstrate different results. Some of these studies have demonstrated that when the paternal age is over 40, there is a slight increase in the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like, for example, pregnancy loss.
Also, we observe the elevated risks to children’s health, including the risk of rare birth-defects like defects in the development of the skull, limbs, and heart. Unfortunately, there are data on the association of advanced paternal age with autism and schizophrenia in children.
Despite the increase in these risks, the overall concern remains small and less urgent than those associated with the maternal age over 40.
Answer from: Miguel Ángel Checa, MD, PhD
The age of a man affects the results of IVF but this is related to the age of a woman. For example, in the case of a woman of 25 years old with a man of 30 years old, we have a pregnancy chance of around 50%. The same woman of 25 years old with a man of 60 years old has exactly the same pregnancy chances around 50%. But if we change the age of a woman to 40 years old, with a man of 20 years old, pregnancy chances are reduced to 38%. The same woman of 40 years old with a man of 60 years old will make the results fall dramatically to 20%. That’s the reason why we normally use egg donors younger than 40 years old for egg donation. This allows having greater results in egg donation IVF.
What is the impact of male age on fertility treatment?
It’s a commonly known truth that a woman’s age influences her fertility and, therefore, any treatment results. But what role do the age of male partner play in the whole process? Could it be a decisive factor, or it’s less significant for the outcome of infertility treatment?
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