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Age and Male Fertility

Age also has an impact on male infertility, though the result is not as severe as it is in women. As men age, the number of sperm, the motility of sperm and the percent of normal sperm all decrease slightly. Pregnancy and birth rates decline and miscarriage rates increase when the male partner is older than age 50 (fig. 9). Despite the fact that some men can become fathers up to age 80 or older, couples should consider the effects of aging on both partners when making parenting plans and decisions.

Male Age and Pregnancy Outcomes

fig 9 – Pregnancy and live birth rates decline and miscarriage rates increase when the male partner is older than age 50.

Conclusion

While there have been many important advances in our ability to treat infertility, the reality is that a woman’s chances of achieving a pregnancy that results in a live birth will decline with age. In addition, there is a great deal of variability in the time that individual women experience this inevitable decline in fertility. For this reason, the evaluation of ovarian reserve is important for all women who have difficulty conceiving. Some treatments can help women to improve their chances of success, but no treatment can stop or reverse the aging process. While oocyte donation is often an effective option, a woman will have her best chances of success when fertility problems are discovered and treated as early as possible.

Any couple that has tried to conceive a baby for a year without success should consult a physician. If a woman is over age 34, she and her partner should consult a fertility expert after trying to conceive for six months. You might begin by discussing your concerns with your gynecologist.


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References:
fig. 1: Abstracted from National Bureau of Health Statistics, 2000
fig. 2: Gindoff and Jewelweicz, Fertil Steril 46:989, 1986
fig. 3: Munne S, Cohen J. Hum Reprod Update 4:842, 1998
fig. 4: Scott, RT, et al. Fertil Steril in submission, 2006
fig. 5: Basal antral follicle ultrasounds. RMA photos
fig. 6: RMA pregnancy data. Data on file.
fig. 7: Levi A, et al. Fertil Steril 75:666, 2001
fig. 8: RMA pregnancy data. Data on file
fig. 9: Frattarelli, JL, et al. Fertil Steril in submission, 2007
Navot et al. Lancet 1989; 2:645
Scott et al. Hum Reprod 1995; 10:1706
Chang et al. Fertil Steril 1998; 69:505
Scott et al. Fertil Steril 1989; 51:651
Scott et al. Obstet Gynecol 1993; 82:539

References:
fig. 9: Frattarelli, JL, et al. Fertil Steril in submission, 2007
Navot et al. Lancet 1989; 2:645
Scott et al. Hum Reprod 1995; 10:1706
Chang et al. Fertil Steril 1998; 69:505
Scott et al. Fertil Steril 1989; 51:651
Scott et al. Obstet Gynecol 1993; 82:539