Contrary to what was previously thought about fertility treatment, a study showed the influence of paternal age on live birth rates. According to the research, from 35 years, With each year that a man ages, he accumulates, on average, two new mutations in the DNA of his sperm and this has an impact on the possibility that the pregnancy will come to fruition.
Although it is true that in the case of women under 35 years oldthe age of their partner hardly influences the chances of giving birth because their eggs have the ability to counteract the higher incidence of DNA damage in the sperm of older men, the same does not happen in those who have more than 40.
The clinical study This retrospective study is based on anonymous data from the UK fertility regulator, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, and looked at the interaction of maternal and paternal age in 18,825 cycles of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and ICSI (where sperm is injected directly into the egg to aid fertilization) after a single fresh embryo transfer.
“The findings add to a growing body of evidence showing that fertility is also a male problemsaid Kate Brian, operations manager at Fertility Network UK. “Our growing awareness of the influence of male fertility highlights the need to ensure fertility education for both school-age children and couples planning a family,” she added.
Paternal age must be taken into account
Professor Geeta Nargund, one of the study’s contributing authors, said: “For too long, the burden has fallen on women and the man’s contribution to the short- and long-term risks to the offspring associated with advanced paternal age It has been largely ignored.”
Nargund, who is the medical director of Create Fertility and a consultant gynecologist at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, said: “Clearly it’s very important that we don’t ignore paternal age when it comes to educate couples on the results of fertility treatment. A woman’s age obviously plays a role, but not all focus should be on her biological clock.”
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As revealed by Nargund, in women under 35 years of age “the lab results indicated that eggs from younger women have the ability to repair the much higher incidence of DNA damage found in sperm from older men.”
At what age is there a higher risk of not conceiving?
When a woman is over 40 years oldthe quality of the egg is lower and the egg is less able to repair any damage found in the sperm, however, Nargund noted that “what is really interesting is that the age of the man seems to have more of an impact when the woman has between 35 and 40 years old.
According to the study, when the mother is of the aforementioned age and the paternal age is between 40 and 44 years, the rate of live births -that is, those carried to term successfully- drops from 32.8% to 27.9 %. If the male partner has over 55 yearsthe live birth rate is only 25%.
“We know that older paternal age delays conception, reduces the rate of fertilization and can lead to an increase in miscarriages or mental health disorders in the offspring. But now we know that, for women in a certain age group, paternal age is more significant than previously thought when it comes to live birth rates.”
Nargund further explained that the interaction between the aged egg and sperm at conception is more complex than previously thought, and the potential ability of both the egg and sperm to “repair the effects of the aging process” needs to be better understood.