Australian fertility experts show that IVF success rates drop as men age, debunking the myth that only women experience declining fertility as they get older.
“It’s well known that women’s fertility declines as they age, but there has been less information about the role that male age plays when a couple is struggling to fall pregnant,” says Lead author and PhD candidate Fabrizzio Horta, from the Monash University School of Clinical Sciences.
The study researched by Monash University and Monash IVF found that in couples with unexplained infertility, increasing male age is associated with falling rates of live birth, clinical pregnancy and embryo implantation, while the miscarriage rates increase.
The male study participants’ chance of live birth decreased by 4.1% with each year of increased age, with outcomes significantly worse for men in their fifties.
In the study, the men’s chance of conceiving halved from the age of 50, compared to those under 40.
“We found that male age always has a negative effect on fertility, even if men partner with young women,” says Mr Horta.
“Age related fertility decline for men is more subtle than for women, but it does happen.”