For men who are reluctant to start a family, it is an age-old defence: there is no need to rush into fatherhood. But men, just like women, can wait too long, doctors warn. A new study reveals that a couple’s chances of having a baby fall with the man’s age, to the point that it can have a substantial impact on their ability to start a family.
To investigate the impact of a man’s age on a couple’s chances of having a baby, [Lara Dodge, researcher at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School] and her colleagues studied records of nearly 19,000 IVF treatment cycles in the Boston area between 2000 and 2014.
Dodge then looked at how age affected couples’ chances of having a live birth. As expected, women in the 40-42 age bracket had the lowest birth rates, and for these women the male partner’s age had no impact. But for younger women the man’s age mattered. Women aged under 30 with a male partner aged 30 to 35 had a 73% chance of a live birth after IVF. But that impressive success rate fell to 46% when the man was aged 40 to 42. Whether they can hear it or not, the biological clock ticks for men too.
“This reminds us that it takes two to tango and it’s not just down to the age of the woman.”
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