Father’s Age Also A Factor In Healthy Pregnancy A woman’s body constantly goes through a lot of changes when pregnancy occurs, which may cause some discomforts in its early stage. Yet a recent study being presented at the 24th annual conference of
News-Antique.com - Jul 21,2008 - Barcelona, July 8, 2008 – It is common knowledge that a woman’s age plays a key role in her ability to get pregnant. However, a phenomenal study recently shows that the father’s age may just be as important in order to conceive a healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy rates drop and miscarriages increase when the father is older than 40. This was the finding currently being presented at the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, Spain.
The study involving more than 12,000 couples undergoing fertility treatments is believed to be the first to show that simply being an older dad has a strong effect on reproductive outcomes.
Each woman’s body is unique. And a woman’s body constantly goes through a lot of changes when pregnancy occurs, which may cause some discomforts in its early stage. Yet the study conducted by researcher Stephanie Belloc of the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in Paris and colleagues revealed that the pregnancy rates can be affected negatively if the father is over 40 years old.
The team of experts analyzed the outcomes of more than 21,000 intrauterine inseminations (IUIs). An IUI is a type of fertility treatment in which the man's sperm is first separated (or “washed”) from the seminal fluid and then inserted into the woman’s uterus. The team looked at sperm quality and pregnancy, miscarriage, and delivery rates.
“We found that the age of the father was important in pregnancy rates -- men over 40 had a negative effect,” said Belloc in a news release. “And, perhaps, more surprisingly, miscarriages rates increased where the father was over 40.”
The issue on the age of the father affecting fertility has become a matter of debate. There has been no clinical proof that simply being an older dad directly influences the mother’s ability to conceive and achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Belloc said that their research proves for the first time that there is a strong paternal age-related effect on IUI outcomes. “And this information should be considered by both doctors and patients in assisted reproduction programs,” she added.
Despite the large number of participants involved in the study, Belloc still plans to do further studies to confirm the results. “This research has important implications for couples wanting to start a family,” she said, “and we need to research it in as large a group as possible.”
Belloc agrees with most fertility specialists on the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a technique that places sperm directly into an egg, to couples when either partner is over age 40.
Belloc said that 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 also reduce the risk of miscarriage.
The study also confirmed what has already been known that women over 35 have lower pregnancy rates than younger woman, and are more likely to miscarry.
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