The reproductive function of both men and women starts to fade out with age. A new research conducted by French scientists revealed that men in their forties may face serious fertility problems. The research seems to be especially important in the present-day world when so many couples make career their first priority.
The researchers found out that couples trying to conceive a baby when a man is over 40 years of age have more difficulties than those families in which a man is younger.
Dr. Stephanie Bellos of France’s Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction monitored over 21.239 cases of intrauterine inseminations (IUI) in more than 12,000 couples from 2002 to 2006.
In intrauterine insemination (IUI), spermatozoa are separated from the seminal fluid and then injected directly into the uterus when a woman has her ovulation. This procedure is used with couples when it is a man who has fertility problems.
The researchers also examined the ability of the sperm to move and swim and then analyzed occurrences of pregnancy, miscarriage and delivery.
The analysis showed that the maternal age was closely associated with a reduction in the pregnancy rate: 8.9 percent with women over 35 in comparison with 14.5 percent with younger women.
The research also showed that women’s age was not the only factor affecting the process of conception. The age of the father was also an important factor in the pregnancy rate.
The study showed that the age of men led to decreases in the pregnancy rate, from 12.3 percent with fathers 30 years of age or younger, to 9.3 percent in fathers older than 45 years of age. The percentages were almost double when it came to the rates of miscarriages from 13.7 percent to 32.4 percent.
Of course, the findings do not apply to all men over the age of 40, as there are cases of successful pregnancies even after that age. However, couples should be more aware of the fact that having a child at earlier ages is safer for both parents and the child.
Male infertility is involved in a sexually paired couple's inability to conceive in a significant number of cases, with estimates ranging from 40-50%.
The diagnosis of infertility begins with a medical history and physical exam by a urologist, preferably one with experience or who specializes in male infertility. The provider may order blood tests to look for hormone imbalances or disease. A semen sample will be needed. Blood tests may indicate genetic causes.
A complete examination of the infertile male is important to identify general health issues associated with infertility. For example, the patient should be adequately virilized; signs of decreased body hair or gynecomastia may suggest androgen deficiency.
The scrotal contents should be carefully palpated with the patient standing. As it is often psychologically uncomfortable for men to be examined, one helpful hint is to make the examination as efficient and as matter of fact as possible.
The peritesticular area should also be examined. Irregularities of the epididymis, located posterior-lateral to the testis, include induration, tenderness, or cysts.