Page URL:

Male fertility declines after 40

8 May 2006
Appeared in BioNews 357

French researchers have published a study showing new evidence that male fertility declines as they get older. The study's authors, who published their findings in the journal Fertility and Sterility, warn that men's lack of awareness of this fact - and of their own biology - may play a part in the decline in birth rates.

The researchers, from fertility clinics across France, looked at what role the man's age played when it came to the likelihood of having children. They concluded that, similarly to women, a man's fertility begins to decline from the age of about 40. They looked at success rates in fertility treatments following treatment at 59 clinics in France, a study that included 1,938 couples. The results showed that in couples where the woman was younger than 30 but her partner was aged 40 or above, the couple was 25 per cent less likely to be successful than if the man was nearer the woman's age. Where the female member of the couple was older than 30, and her partner was 40 or above, the woman was twice as likely not to conceive.

Elise de La Rochebrochard, lead author of the study, from the French National Institute for Demographic Studies, said that the results show for the first time 'strong evidence for a paternal age effect on failure to conceive that is linked only to biological male ageing'. When it comes to reproduction she said, 'age must no longer be considered the concern of the woman, but that of the couple'.

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the UK's University of Sheffield, and spokesperson for the British Fertility Society, said that the findings of the French researchers added to the evidence that male age was also a factor in fertility. 'Women seem to be more attuned to their biological clocks', he said, adding that 'with men, the clock seems to tick more slowly, but often I don't think they hear it at all'. The findings came in the same week as a poll in the Guardian newspaper had identified that many British couples put 'having fun' and 'having enough money to live comfortably' ahead of having children.

Britons 'put fun before babies'
BBC News Online |  2 May 2006
Fathers over 40 and increased failure to conceive: the lessons of in vitro fertilization in France
Fertility and Sterility |  1 May 2006
Men should plan on parenthood by 40, new research reveals
The Guardian |  2 May 2006
Who's broody now?
The Guardian |  3 May 2006
7 July 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens 
BioNews reporting from ESHRE conference, Barcelona:By Ailsa Taylor: Scientists have found further evidence to suggest that, like women, fertility drops in men as they age, heard delegates at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. The research, led by Dr Stephanie Belloc of the...
9 June 2008 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
A new study has shown that becoming a father after the age of 45 increases the likelihood that the resulting child will die before reaching adulthood. The researchers, based at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, who published their findings in the European Journal of Epidemiology...
4 August 2006 - by Letitia Hughes 
New research from US scientists, based at the Columbia University School of Public Health and the New York Psychiatric Institute, suggests that woman who become pregnant by older men are at greater risk of miscarriage. Results indicate that as the male partner ages there is a steady...
25 July 2005 - by Professor Allan Pacey 
The eighth child of Charlie Chaplin was born when he was 73 and as far as we know has lived a healthy life. However, whilst most men remain fertile into their old age, it has long been recognised that to father children later in life increases the risk of their...
21 July 2005 - by BioNews 
The risk of having a child born with certain congenital problems may increase with the father's age, US and Danish researchers say. In a study of over 70,000 births, published online in the journal Human Reproduction, they report that the risk of Down syndrome and other conditions begins to increase...
5 January 2004 - by Professor Allan Pacey 
Male infertility has been in the news again this week, with journalists pouncing on some data presented at the joint meeting of the Association of Clinical Embryologists and the British Fertility Society in Liverpool. What caught the media's attention was a report from researchers in Aberdeen who had presented preliminary...
4 August 2003 - by BioNews 
New research has added to the growing body of evidence that children fathered by older men may face some physical health problems. A British and Swedish research team based at Oxford University, UK, has found that an inherited condition called Apert syndrome is more likely to develop in the children...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.