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Family planning study highlights importance of father’s age

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 09-07-2008

In new family planning news, a study has found that a man’s age could be crucial in determining his fertility levels.

Researchers as the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in Paris looked at more than 12,000 couples undergoing fertility treatment and found that pregnancy rates drop and miscarriages increase when the father is older than 40, WebMD Health News reports.

This is the first time there has been clinical proof of the impact of a man’s age on his ability to have children, although the importance of a woman’s age when she is trying to get pregnant is well documented.

Stephanie Belloc, who led the study, commented: "We found that the age of the father was important in pregnancy rates … this research has important implications for couples wanting to start a family."

This study was primarily concerned with intrauterine inseminations, where the man’s sperm is inserted into the woman’s uterus, so Dr Belloc recommended that older couples consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) as another option.

IVF is one of the most popular fertility treatments for couples who are unable to conceive naturally, but it only has a success rate of around 15 percent.