It’s a common misapprehension that only the age of a woman matters in conception and even IVF success. Not true. Dr Gorgy, one of Britain’s top fertility doctors and Co-Director of The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, explains…

Dr Gorgy told us: ‘It is true that while women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, men produce new sperm all the time. Because of this, many people believe that male fertility is untouched by age. Not true. Whether trying for a baby naturally or via assisted conception, the older a man is, the greater his chances of declining sperm count and sperm quality. These issues lower the chances of conception.’

Research studies confirm this. In fact a new study led by Dr Laura Dodge from Harvard University Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston looked at 19,000 IVF cycles1. Dr Dodge and her team discovered that women under 30 were 46% less likely to achieve IVF success with a male partner aged 40-42, than with a man age 30-352. Indeed, 35 year old women had a markedly better chance of conception after one IVF cycle with a man below the age of 30, than with a male partner in his mid-30s.

In addition, research has also shown that older sperm is more likely to host genetic errors, which have been linked to the development in children of problems such as autism, ADHD, and bipolar disorder3.

Dr Gorgy said: ‘The age of the woman still has a larger impact on fertility than the man’s age. But the myth of ceaseless male fertility – the idea that men can put off having children indefinitely if they have a significantly younger partner – has been taken to task with this latest research. Indeed it is something that fertility experts have known for some time.’

What Can Be Done?

‘Increasing awareness around sperm deterioration may convince more men that they should think about having children earlier,’ Dr Gorgy told us. ‘But if a man wants to wait for whatever reason, we recommend fertility testing for couples or individuals.

‘For men, we use a simple, non-invasive test whereby semen is thoroughly examined in the lab for sperm count, motility, and shape. In this way we can get a picture of a man’s potential to conceive, but also to what extent abnormal sperm are showing up. Just as women can have a fertility MOT, so can men.’

Sperm Freezing

For men who wish to delay parenthood and give themselves the best chance of a successful, healthy conception, sperm freezing is a good option. Conception success rates with frozen sperm are high.

‘We analyse the sperm thoroughly in the process,’ explains Dr Gorgy. ‘During the storage period sperm doesn’t “age”  It is possible to speculate that men who use sperm frozen at younger age might  have a better chance of conceiving later in life. The frozen sperm can be  kept in storage for up to 10 years, with the possibility of extension.’

Here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, we offer premium fertility checks and preservation for both men and women and specialise in cases where couples have been unable to get pregnant.

To find out more, or book in for a consultation, call us now on 020 7224 1880.