Fertility problems worsen as men age - Evewoman
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Men just like women may have difficulty in having children at an advanced age

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  • Such embryos developed 35% slower as compared to embryos created by sperm from men under 35.
  • The study indicated that defects were higher in the oldest age group

Older men may have more difficulty in siring children, whether naturally or with assisted reproductive technology, new various research shows.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine received three studies indicating that older men may have fertility problems as they age.

Researchers in Boston found out that embryo created with sperm from men aged 50 and above not only divide slowly but also take longer to get to the stage when the embryo is ready to be implanted in the womb.

The study, carried out on 3,532 embryos from 527 couples, also found out such embryos developed 35% slower as compared to embryos created by sperm from men under 35.

At the Colorado Centre for Reproductive Medicine, a study highlighted that sperm from older fathers collect more mutations. Such mutations can result into DNA errors.

A different study from the Baylor College of Medicine indicated that the risk of having abnormal embryos is higher in men who have an incomplete chromosome or extra chromosome in their sperm—a condition known as aneuploidy. The researchers interviewed 99 couples to find out the connection between the condition and pregnancy. In the group, most miscarriages occurred around week 7 of pregnancy while fewer abnormalities were seen after 15 weeks.

Researchers from the Weill Cornell Medicine carried out a study on couples experiencing pregnancy loss or failed IVF.  They divided the men into seven age groups with 25 year olds as the youngest and 55 as the oldest.   The study indicated that defects were higher in the oldest age group while fertilisation rate in this group was 46%, a drop from 87.7% in the youngest age group.

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Following the results of the study, ASRM Vice President, Peter Schlegel recommended the counselling of older men and their partners on risk of poor pregnancy.

“These studies make it clear that for men as well as women it may be difficult to have a child at an advanced age. Older men and their partners should be counselled about the risks of poor pregnancy outcomes and the potential for neurodevelopmental problems in offspring.”

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