Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Couples with fertility problems where the man is over 40 have increased difficulty in conceiving

08.07.2008
Pregnancy rates decrease and miscarriages increase when a father is over 40 years of age, a scientist will tell the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology yesterday

Dr. Stéphanie Belloc, of the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction, Paris, France, will say that this is the first time that such a strong paternal effect on reproductive outcomes has been shown.

Dr. Belloc and colleagues followed up 21,239 intrauterine inseminations (IUIs). In IUI the sperm is ‘washed’, or spun in a centrifuge, in order to separate them from the seminal fluid, and then inserted directly into the uterus. If the sperm are not washed they can cause uterine cramps which can expel the semen because of prostaglandins in the seminal fluid. 12,236 couples who had consulted at the Centre between January 2002 and December 2006 were involved, and the husband’s semen was used in all cases. In most cases the couples were being treated because of the husband’s infertility

The sperm of each partner was examined at the time of the IUI for a number of characteristics, including sperm count, motility and morphology. Clinical pregnancy, miscarriage and delivery rates were also carefully recorded. Detailed analysis of the results allowed the scientists to separate out the male and female factors related to each pregnancy.

Maternal age was closely associated with a decreased pregnancy rate of 8.9% in women over 35 years, compared to 14.5% in younger women. Miscarriage rates were also typically affected by maternal age.

“But we also found that that the age of the father was important in pregnancy rates – men over 40 had a negative effect,” says Dr. Belloc. “And, perhaps more surprisingly, miscarriage rates increased where the father was over 40.”

The effect of maternal age on the ability to conceive and on miscarriage rates is well known, but there is still controversy about the role of the father. Although there are many reports that show an overall decline in sperm counts and quality from decade to decade, up to now there has been no clinical proof that simply being an older man has a direct effect on a couple’s fertility.

“We already believed that couples where the man was older took longer to conceive,” says Dr. Belloc, “but a number of reasons had been put forward for this. Neither was there any definite evidence that miscarriage rates increased when the man was older. To undertake a complex multivariant statistical analysis of data from a large group of patients was difficult, but we thought it was a question that needed to be answered once and for all. Some recent studies have established a relationship between the results of IUI and DNA damage, which is also correlated to a man’s age, suggesting that it might be an important factor, but until now there was no clinical proof.”

Even though the numbers in the study are already large, the scientists intend to include more couples in the next few years to confirm their results further. “This research has important implications for couples wanting to start a family,” says Dr. Belloc, “and we need to research it in as large a group as possible.”

“How DNA damage in older men translates into clinical practice has not been shown up to now,” says Dr. Belloc. “Our 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 programmes.

“We believe that the use of IVF or ICSI should be suggested to infertile patients where either party is over 40 years of age. In IVF, the zona pellucida (the outer membrane of the egg) seems to be an efficient barrier in preventing the penetration of sperm with DNA damage, and in ICSI, the best sperm can be selected out for use. 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,” she says.

Sarah De Potter | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eshre.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment
21.02.2020 | Case Western Reserve University

nachricht UIC researchers find unique organ-specific signature profiles for blood vessel cells
18.02.2020 | University of Illinois at Chicago

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists from Hannover Predict Novel Light Molecules

26.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Turbomachine expander offers efficient, safe strategy for heating, cooling

25.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

The seismicity of Mars

25.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>