What is the impact of male age on fertility treatment? How age matter for your fertility?
It’s commonly known truth that woman’s age influence her fertility and hence any treatment results. But what role do age of male partner play in the whole process? Could it be a decisive factor or it’s less significant for the final outcome of infertility treatment?
Watch 3on1 #IVFANSWERS where experts discuss this situation:
• Dr. Miguel Ángel Checa – Specialist in Obstetrics/ Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at Fertty International
• Dr Àlex García-Faura Scientific Director of Institut Marquès
• Dr Diana Obidnyak- Head of International Cooperation Department AVA Peter Clinic
Answer from Dr Ángel Checa - Specialist in Obstetrics/ Gynecology
The age of a man affects the results of IVF but this is related to the age of a woman. For example, in case of a woman of 25 years old with a man of 30 years old, we have a pregnancy chance around 50%/. The same woman of 25 years old with a man of 60 years old have 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, the pregnancy chances are reduced till 38%. The same woman of 40 years old with a man of 60 years old will make the results fall dramatically till 20%. That’s the reason why normally we use egg donors younger than 40 years old to egg donation. This allows to have greater results in egg donation IVF.
Answer from Dr García-Faura - Scientific Director
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 to give us good success rates on fertility treatments, especially because we do know that those patients will have poorest quality on the 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 a 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 Dr Obidnyak - Head of International Cooperation Department
While female fertility comes to the inevitable end with menopause (around the average age of 51 years old), 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 have a negative impact on 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 of a risk of adverse pregnancy outcome, like for example, pregnancy loss.
Also we observe the elevated risks to children’s health, including the risk of rare birth defects, especially defects in the development of the skull, limbs and heart. Unfortunately, there are data of association of advanced paternal age with the 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.