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Man's Fertility Declines with Age

Men's Age as Important as Women in Fertility?


Updated July 14, 2014

Mature couple lying on bed
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Many men are not aware that their age can affect their ability to become a father. Most men know that women's fertility declines after the age of 35, but less known is the increasing evidence that the the older a man becomes, the more their fertility diminishes.

In research published in the Journal Fertility and Sterility, Elise de La Rochebrochard et al of the French National Institute for Demographic Studies found that men over the age 40 are less fertile than younger men.

The researchers examined the rates of successful pregnancies reported in 59 fertility clinics. 1,938 couples took part.
The results showed:

  • A women younger than 30 years old was 25% less likely to conceive a baby if her male partner was 40 years or older.

  • That a woman of 35 to 37 years was 50% less likely to conceive if the male partner was over 40 years old.
  • There is now a lot more evidence that the age of the man at conception affects women's ability to become pregnant. Paternal age is now considered significant. Men have to listen to their biological clock too.

    Elise de La Rochebrochard, who headed this study, has also looked at paternal factors for miscarriage. With Patrick Thonneau in 2002 she reported that the risk of an adverse pregnancy outcome (miscarriage) is highest if both partners are advanced in age. Their definition of advanced age? A woman aged 35 years and a man aged over 40 years!

    Article Sources: Elise de La Rochebrochard French National Institute for Demographic Studies. Journal Fertility and Sterility. May 2006 Paternal age and maternal age are risk factors for miscarriage; results of a multicentre European study Elise de La Rochebrochard1 and Patrick Thonneau2,3 1 INED (National Demographic Studies Institute), 75020 Paris and 2 Research Group in Human Fertility, INSERM, La Grave Hospital, 31052 Toulouse, France

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