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Does age affect male fertility?

By Dra. Rut Gómez de Segura (gynecologist).
Last Update: 12/30/2021

In assisted reproduction it is common to consider age as a determining factor in achieving pregnancy, although always centered on maternal age. Despite the importance of the woman's age at the moment of conception, we must bear in mind that, if the man is 25 years old, the time needed to achieve pregnancy is approximately 4 months, while, if he is over 40 years old, it could take more than 2 years.

This negative discrimination against women is due to two main aspects: the decrease in fertility and the increase in genetic alterations. Both considerations mean that paternal age is not taken into account when seeking pregnancy. In the case of the male, he produces spermatozoa almost continuously throughout his life, but age and exposure to different external agents mean that the diagnostic results of the seminogram and other tests can reduce the capacity for fertilization.

Paternal age can affect the success of pregnancy, both in terms of time to conception and in terms of alterations in some of the parameters of the semen analysis. In addition, there are other alterations such as DNA fragmentation, an increase in oxygen free radicals that can affect genetic integrity, and an increase in pathologies associated with the urogenital apparatus due to age (varicocele, prostatitis, etc.). Several studies have also shown the existence of chromosomopathies related to the age of the male, which can lead to miscarriages or implantation failures. The association of these fertility disorders may be correlated with a greater probability of developing chronic diseases such as overweight, hypertension or diabetes, which increase with age.

In assisted reproduction, the age of the male is a factor to be taken into account because of the above, although the use of the different techniques currently available helps to solve many of these alterations. Thus, although the paternal age does not directly affect the pregnancy and live birth rate, we must take into account that the values of the semen analysis and embryo quality suffer an important decrease.
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***

Dra. Rut Gómez de Segura
Dra. Rut Gómez de Segura
MD
Gynecologist
Graduation in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Alcalá de Henares. Specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital Costa del Sol in Marbella. Dr Rut Gómez de Segura currently works as medical director in the fertility center ProcreaTec in Madrid.
Licence number: 28/2908776
Gynecologist. Graduation in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Alcalá de Henares. Specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital Costa del Sol in Marbella. Dr Rut Gómez de Segura currently works as medical director in the fertility center ProcreaTec in Madrid. Licence number: 28/2908776.