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Men's Biological Clocks Affect Fertility

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, July 07, 2008 11:10 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, In Vitro Fertilization, Pregnancy

Men also undergo fertility problems after the age of 35, researchers say. 



IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockphoto: family on the beach/ author: iofoto


Men who decide later in life that they want to become dads, may have a tougher time helping their partner conceive. 

father age 35 and older contributes to the rate of miscarriage and pregnancy, according to study that points, for the first time, to strong paternal effects on reproductive outcomes.

The age of a mother’s eggs are already known to have a deleterious effect on egg viability and health.  Mothers over the age of 35 have a decreased pregnancy rate.

In this study at the Centre for Assisted Reproduction in Paris, more than 21,000 inseminations were tracked. 

The sperm is prepared for insemination before being directly inserted into the uterus. Researchers were able to observe the sperm count and motility or movement of the sperm, as well as the pregnancies, miscarriages and delivery rates.

There they found “that the age of the father was important in pregnancy rates – men over 35 had a negative effect,” Dr. Stephanie Belloc of the Centre said. That may be due to DNA damage in the sperm.

For women, the likelihood of pregnancy after the age of 35 is reduced, but the risk of miscarriage is higher for couples when the man is in his late 30s, the study finds.

For those couples, one third of the pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

The Eylau Centre treats infertility among couples.  In this study, women were given intrauterine inseminations or IUI, also known as artificial insemination.

Dr. Belloc says the research has important implications for families. Couples who are older  and want children, may want to choose IVF or in-vitro fertililzation, where the egg is fertilized outside of the body or ICSI, where the best sperm are selected before being injected into a prepared egg.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, Spain, which is underway until July 9.

In another study, the Cleveland Clinic found that heavy cell phone use may be affecting the quality and quantity of a man’s sperm.

The more hours the men spent on their cell phone, the lower the sperm count and the greater the percentage of abnormal sperm.

The theory is that over time, electromagnetic energy emitted from cell phones harm body tissue. #

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