Delaying fatherhood reduces success of assisted reproduction technology: Study
UK: A recent study has found that paternal age of over 50 years significantly reduces the chances of a successful birth through in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI). This was true regardless of the age of the prospective mother. Considering this, there should be a public health message for men not to delay fatherhood.
The study findings are published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.
There is a deterioration of semen quality with increasing paternal age. However, the evidence for any impact paternal age may have on the outcome of IVF/ICSI is ambiguous. Previous studies have shown that paternal age increases the miscarriage rate and reduces the live birth rate. The age at which paternal age may exert a significant deleterious effect on outcome is not known and there is no limit to paternal age in IVF/ICSI treatment.
Against the above background, Guy Morris, Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, London, UK, and colleagues aimed to study if paternal age exerts an effect, independent of maternal age, on the outcomes of fresh in vitro fertilization/ intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) cycles.
For this purpose, the researchers conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, London, UK. The analysis included all couples with primary or secondary infertility undergoing IVF/ICSI cycles in which the male partner produced a fresh semen sample and the cycle proceeded to fresh embryo transfer. The analysis excluded all cycles of IVF/ICSI that used donor oocytes—donor sperm, frozen sperm, cycles leading to embryo storage, and cycles including preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-A/PGT-M).
Key findings of the study include:
- During the study period, there were 4833 cycles, involving 4271 men, eligible for analysis; 1974/4833 (40.8%) cycles resulted in a live birth.
- A significantly lower proportion of men over 51 years met World Health Organization semen analysis criteria (42.1%) compared with men under 51 years of age (61.1%).
- Both maternal and paternal age were retained in the multivariate model and for all maternal age subgroups the probability of live birth decreased with paternal age over 50 years (odds ratio [OR] 0.674).
- Paternal age over 50 years was not an independent predictor of miscarriage (OR 0.678).
"Paternal age over 50 significantly affects the chance of achieving a live birth following ART. Paternal age does not independently affect the risk of miscarriage following ART," wrote the authors. "There should be a public health message for men not to delay fatherhood."
The study titled, "Paternal age over 50 years decreases assisted reproductive technology (ART) success: A single UK center retrospective analysis," is published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.