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Sperm Quality not tied to a Man’s Age

Update Date: Jun 30, 2014 10:04 AM EDT

According to a new study, a couple's chances of getting pregnant might depend more on the woman's fertility and sperm quality as opposed to the man's age. The researchers examined data fertility treatments and found that older men's sperm was not any less effective than younger men's sperm in producing a live birth.

"It is sperm quality rather than male age that matters," said Meenakshi Choudhary, from Britain's Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life reported by the Times of India. "Our results suggest that, up to the age of 45, there is little effect of male age on the treatment's outcome."

For this study, the researchers analyzed data on fertility treatment cycles that used sperm donations between 1991 and 2012. The data came from Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA). There were a total of over 230,000 sperm donation cycles with 39,282 of them occurring at the first treatment cycle. The two forms of treatments were in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and insemination.

The researchers first examined the live birth rate in women using IVF techniques. They compared the live birth rate in women who received sperm from donors in their 20s to the rate in women who received sperm from donors in their 40s. They found that the rate for the group receiving younger sperm was 28.3 percent. The rate for the other group was 30.4 percent. The live birth rates for donor insemination was 9.7 percent in women who received younger sperm and 12 percent for women who were fertilized with older sperm.

"No decline in live births was observed with the increasing age of men, that's the take home message from a large national database," Dr. Choudhary said according to the DailyMail.

The study's findings were presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) taking place in Munich.

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