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Thread: Men's Fertility Decreases After 35

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    Men's Fertility Decreases After 35

    Men's fertility decreases after 35

    * Kate Benson
    * July 7, 2008

    It has long been known that a woman's chance of reproducing declines once she hits 35, but now scientists have found that men who have some forms of fertility treatment in their 30s suffer the same fate.

    A study by Laboratoire d'Eylau, a centre for assisted reproduction in Paris, followed more than 21,000 men who had intrauterine inseminations at fertility clinics. It found the process, where semen is washed to extract the sperm, resulted in a decrease in pregnancies and an increase in miscarriages.

    All the men in the study, which will be presented today at the annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, were aged over 35.

    "We already believed that couples where the man was older took longer to conceive," said the study's author, Stephanie Belloc.

    "But how DNA damage in older men translates into clinical practice has not been shown up to now. Our research shows for the first time that there is a strong paternal age-related affect on [intrauterine insemination] outcomes and this information should be considered by both doctors and patients in assisted reproduction."

    She said sperm with DNA damage, common in older men, could still enter the egg during intrauterine insemination, which could result in a failure to conceive or a miscarriage.

    But during in vitro fertilisation, the zona pellucida, or outer membrane of the egg, was an efficient barrier in preventing the penetration of sperm with DNA damage.

    "And in ICSI [intracytoplasmic sperm injection], the best sperm can be selected for use. These methods, although not in themselves a guarantee of success, may help couples where the man is older to achieve a pregnancy more quickly and reduce the risk of miscarriage," Dr Belloc said.

    She followed 21,239 patients, and examined the sperm of each partner for count, motility and morphology. Pregnancy rates, miscarriage and delivery rates were also recorded.

    "Some recent studies have established a relationship between the results of [intrauterine insemination] and DNA damage, which also correlated to a man's age, suggesting it might be an important factor, but until now there was no clinical proof. We have now found that the age of the father was important in pregnancy - men over 35 had a negative effect."
    Source : http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/pare...0707-32zu.html

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    And yet, both Charlie Chaplin and Tony Randall fathered children after the age of seventy. Makes sense, evolutionarily: the reproductive costs for a male amount to a few trifling cells, as opposed to the huge biological costs for a female. Plus, older men might be better providers, hence the May-December romances one sees all around and throughout history.

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    Don't panic Octothorpe. :p What the article above discloses is that gamete degradation increases with age in men... culminating to the point where after the age of 35, gamete quality is reduced to the point of causing significant increases in genetic abnormalities in embryos (leading to increased incidences of miscarriage in the female) and also to delayed fertility (ie, it taking longer to conceive a healthy child).

    It doesn't mean that a man above 35 can't father a healthy baby, it just means that it often takes significantly longer to conceive one, and then the chances of genetic abnormalities is increased somewhat. But this is no reason for men over 35 to think that they can't father healthy babies. This is only talking about % chances and generalisations.


    Makes sense, evolutionarily: the reproductive costs for a male amount to a few trifling cells, as opposed to the huge biological costs for a female.
    Regardless of what seems to make sense to us mere mortals , nature will have its own way.... and there are no exceptions to the rule.... with age comes cellular degeneration. This affects all life forms... male and female.


    Plus, older men might be better providers, hence the May-December romances one sees all around and throughout history.
    I assume you're talking about very large age gaps in marital couples? Old men and young girls? Well, one could see other, more socially oriented explanations for this that would seem to make more sense.... from younger men being needed for battle and defense, or hunting, and therefore often needing to travel far from home, whereas the old men (those who survive their youth) are more free to be at home and devote their time to making babies and such... to traditionally patriarchal societies where females are used for making babies, menial household chores and sexual pleasure, with very few rights of their own, nor with any consideration for their own happiness and needs.

    The trends for these sorts of families... old man + young girl (particularly evident in countries/times when women had no real rights of their own)... wouldn't seem to have a biological cause. What makes most biological sense is for young men and women at the peak of their fertility to have babies. This incidence of large age gaps among married couples seems to be a socially determined phenomenon... most often based on the exploitation of one group of society by another group of society.

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