In a couple of future parents, during an assisted fertilization treatment, is the paternal age as important as the maternal age? Can a more mature father affect the type of birth, sex or health of the newborn? These and other questions at the center of the two important studies carried out by IVI, the international clinic specializing in assisted reproduction, “Paternal age does not affect obstetric and perinatal outcomes in IVF or ICSI cycles with autologous oocytes” and “Paternal age is significantly related with the type of delivery and the sex of the newborn in IVF or ICSI cycles with donated oocytes “, led by Dr. Ana Navarro, researcher at the IVI Foundation, and supervised by Dr. Nicolás Garrido, Director of the IVI Foundation.
The studies, presented during the latest ESHRE in Milan, aim to investigate whether the sperm of an adult of advanced paternal age affects the obstetric health of the woman during pregnancy, the type of birth and the health of the newborn, and if so, how this influence occurs.
The sample used for the studies is one of the largest for this type of research: among patients who have carried out egg donation and patients with their own eggs we are talking about 30,784 patients and 34,106 newborns, while the paternal age taken into consideration ranges from 21 to 54 years old.
“We looked at a range of pregnancy and perinatal health indicators such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, baby weight, birth type, head circumference or ICU admission after birth, and we concluded that paternal age does not affect obstetric and perinatal outcomes in assisted reproduction treatments with their own oocytes. At this point, and despite several studies suggesting the 40-year threshold to consider the paternal age as ‘advanced’, we believe it appropriate to review this limit based on current results “, explained Dr. Mauro Cozzolino, Reproductive Medicine Specialist IVI Rome.
Good news, therefore, for those women seeking pregnancy through MAP and have an “advanced” male partner: if, in fact, the woman’s age significantly affects the success of the therapy, these studies have shown that there is neither a decline in sperm quality nor in male fertility.
“One of the reasons for this difference between men and women is purely biological: in men, spermatogenesis takes place constantly, every day and at all times, and therefore new cells are generated. Women, on the other hand, have follicles in the ovaries from when they are in the womb, that is, they are with them for life. And, of course, this affects the characteristics of fertilization and everything that entails afterwards, since the spermatozoa are not as old as the eggs when fertilization is attempted “, he explained Daniela Galliano, Director of the PMA Clinic in Rome, Specialist in Gynecology, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine.