The possibility of men siring children drops progressively every year, especially if they have stepped into the middle age, new research says.
A fertility expert has found that the chances of a man impregnating his wife dropped by seven percent each year between 41 and 45 years, dropping even more sharply among older men.
The quality of male sperm too deteriorated with time.
Until now the pressure has been on women to start a family before they turn 40.
At this age, chances of women getting pregnant naturally or artificially start declining sharply as their reserves of eggs run low and their quality declines, the Telegraph reports.
“Of course it’s not the same as for women, but men can’t wait for ever. After 45 if they haven’t, they have to start thinking about having children,” said Paula Fettback, Huntington Reproductive Medicine Centre in Brazil, who led the study.
Fettback analysed the outcome of 570 In Vitro Fertilization treatments carried out at her clinic between March 2008 and April this year. Fettback included cases only where eggs were donated by young healthy women.
The results showed that the age of men in the group that did not conceive was “significantly higher” than among those who were able to have a baby.
Further analysis found that when the husband was 41, the couple had a 60 per cent chance of getting pregnant.
“Our regression analysis also showed that every additional year on husband’s age may reduce the odds of pregnancy in seven percent,” said Fettback.
By 45 years the chances were said to be down to 35 percent, and dropped more sharply thereafter.
These findings were presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Florida, US.