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Study finds drop in fertility rates among men over 40

A new study has revealed that men's fertility, like women's, declines with age. Scientists from the French National Institute for Demographic Studies, INED, in partnership with 59 fertility clinics across France, examined data of a total of 1,938 men whose partners were tot...

A new study has revealed that men's fertility, like women's, declines with age. Scientists from the French National Institute for Demographic Studies, INED, in partnership with 59 fertility clinics across France, examined data of a total of 1,938 men whose partners were totally sterile and being treated by conventional IVF. They found that while a woman's ability to reproduce begins to diminish in the late 20s, peaking at 35, the turning point for men is at the later age of 40. In cases where women younger than 30 had a partner aged 40 or older, the study found that there was 25 per cent reduction in the chances of conceiving. Where women were between 35-37 years old and their partners older than 40, the risk increased to 50 per cent. This new evidence comes at a time of unprecedented demographic change in Europe. Fertility rates have dropped to 1.5 children per woman and it is estimated that by 2030, Europe will have 18 million children and young people less than today. Of the six most-populated EU Member States, only the UK and France will see their populations increase between 2005 and 2050, with the UK population projected to increase by 8 per cent and the French population by 9.6 per cent. This is due to a number of factors, one of which is an increasing number of couples who choose to postpone parenthood. Writing in the journal Fertility and Sterility, Elise de La Rochebrochard, who led the research, notes that couples wishing to start a family should be made more aware of the link between a latent paternal age and the risk factor for failure to conceive.

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