New Fathers’ Age is Rising

Maybe this is why we are seeing more cases of male infertility and many cases of IVF are requiring ICSI.

Researchers at Stanford University reviewed data on 168,867,480 live births from 1972 to 2015, making statistical adjustments for missing paternal records. The average age of the father of a newborn in the United States, the investigators found, has risen to 30.9 from 27.4 in 1972.

Paternal age increased across the country: the oldest fathers lived in the Northeast, and the youngest in the South. There were average age increases across all educational levels, races and ethnicities. The report appears in the journal Human Reproduction.

In 2015, fathers with college degrees were 33.3 years old on average, compared with 29.2 for those with only a high school diploma. This goes along with the phenomenon of women waiting to conceive: for education and careers. Asian fathers were the oldest on average by ethnicity, and blacks and Hispanics the youngest.

Older paternal age has been associated with higher rates of miscarriage, birth defects, some cancers, schizophrenia and autism. Some experts have suggested that older sperm is more likely to have mutations that lead to disease.

But a study last year in Nature Genetics concluded that such mutations are probably a small part of the cause. Instead, men who are genetically predisposed to psychiatric and other illnesses are also more likely to delay fatherhood, and those genetic tendencies are inherited by their children. The question remains unsettled.

At Reproductive Partners we are experts in dealing with all non-surgical aspects of male infertility once surgical and hormonal issues are ruled out by a urologist or endocrinologist and the couples are referred to us. Today there are very few causes of male infertility where surgery get better results than IVF with ICSI. Also many of the older couples are interested in preimplantaion genetic screening to make sure the chromosomes of the offspring are normal.

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