Men Have A Biological Clock Too
It isn’t just eggs that lose viability as the years go by. Sperm has an expiration date as well, with men’s fertility declining around middle age. After age 41, the odds of a man conceiving a child decline pretty sharply. Much like how we’ve been been told that women’s fertility declines with each passing year, research suggests that men’s is more or less the same — with even a single year making all the difference.
Researchers uncovered this one after studying eggs conceived with IVF. Reportedly, the eggs came from young, healthy donors, giving scientists adequate space to study the quality of the sperm. Chances for conception declined by up to 7% with each year of a man’s age between 41 and 45. After 45, chances for fatherhood narrowed even more.
A 41-year-old male had a 60% success rate while a 45 year old had just 35%. The average age at which IVF was unsuccessful for men was age 45. Daily Mail reports:
While men constantly make fresh sperm, the “machinery” that makes it can slow down and become defective over time. In addition, genetic errors may creep into sperm as men get older.
However, just to ensure that hopeful mothers do in fact face worse fertility odds, Dr. Richard Sherbahn noted that the viability of eggs is far more important. He told the publication that IVF can “compensate” for many of the problems that arise in sperm in a way that isn’t quite possible yet for eggs.