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Biological clock – not just for women

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JOCELYN HAS BEEN FEATURED ON:

As I mentioned in this post, advanced age for both men and women is a relevant factor in increasing rates of infertility. Most women are familiar with the concept of a “biological clock,” and I often have women come to my clinic in their mid- to late-thirties wanting to find out what they can do to preserve their fertility. Their concerns are not without reason: aging is considered the most important single variable influencing outcome in assisted reproduction (IVF or IUI).

The fertility of a woman at age 35 is only 50 per cent of the fertility potential of a woman at 25 years. By age of 38 years, it’s down to only 25 per cent, and over the age of 40 it is less than five per cent of the fertility potential of the younger woman.

However, it’s not just women who have a biological clock, despite some assumption that men get a free pass when it comes to aging and reproduction. This stems from what I would consider sexism in the fertility industry: a disproportionate focus on female fertility, and a lack of recognition of the importance of male-factor infertility.

In fact, just like female fertility, sperm concentration decreases as men age: 90 per cent of seminiferous tubules in men in their 20s and 30s contained spermatids, while men in their 40s and 50s had spermatids in only 50 per cent of their seminiferous tubules.  Over the past 40 years, sperm counts worldwide have halved and sperm quality has declined alarmingly. It is time we bring male partners into the fertility conversation.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your fertility patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,
Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND
Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Dohle, G.R. et al. (2005). EAU Guidelines on Male Infertility. European Urology, 48: 703-711.

Kumar, N. & Singh, A. (2015). Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, 8(4): 191–196.

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