Thursday, July 17, 2008

More on Men's Fertility Decline with Age

The Irish Times reports that the chances of miscarriage increases with the man's age.
A new study presented last week at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona found that miscarriage rates increased significantly when the man was older than 35, and that pregnancy rates dropped when the man was older than 40. The study was based on more than 12,000 couples attending a fertility clinic in Paris....

Prof Sheena Lewis, who is a scientist at the Regional Fertility Centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, said there was a growing trend of people leaving it later to have children when their careers were established, and of people trying to start second families later in life. She said the clinic was seeing an increasing number of men in their 40s and 50s who wanted to have children, often in a second relationship....

She said there were now quite a number of studies showing that as a man ages, the likelihood of his sperm being damaged increases. "A sperm is a very specialised little cell - it is just DNA with a tail and it has one single function, to get the DNA to the egg to fertilise it. In order to do that, the cell gets rid of everything but DNA, so it gets rid of repair mechanisms that you find in other cells. So if it gets damaged it can't repair itself."

She said that after fertilisation, the DNA damage of the sperm becomes part of the genetic make-up of the embryo. "If a poor sperm fertilises an egg, and even if you get a pregnancy, there is quite often a miscarriage," Prof Lewis said.


Read the whole article.

2 comments:

Brian said...

I'm assuming that they somehow corrected for the age of the women in the study, but I didn't see anything about that.

Brian said...

After re-reading the article, I noticed the line, "The analysis separated out male and female factors."

So, I guess that answers my previous question.