According to new research by the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM), male age does factor into fertility — and to a much greater extent than previously thought. “We know men father pregnancies in their 50s, 60s and 70s which doesn’t happen with women,” Dr. William Schoolcraft told NBC news affiliate 9News. “But as a man ages, the sperm can have spontaneous chromosomal mutations that can lead to issues with the children.” Studies suggest that these mutations in sperm can occur as early as ages 40 to 45.
New Technology Meets Fertility Challenges Head-On
Of the one in eight couples seeking the help of fertility clinics, artificial insemination, and/or IVF treatments, a great deal need a hand conceiving owing to male or male and female infertility. In fact, in 2002, 3.3 to 4.7 million U.S. men under 35 visited fertility clinics. Now, new technologies may help men monitor their sperm count, sperm motility, and overall fertility without even stepping a foot out of the door. One such mobile application, called iSperm, discreetly tests sperm from home. “A tiny microscope enlarges the contents of a few drops of semen inside a pipette, lit by a backlight,” The Sydney Morning Herald writes. “The light beams the moving image to the iPad camera, and algorithms then analyze the sample for total sperm count and motility, or how fast sperm can swim.” Patients can use readings to increase their chances of conceiving, or save the results for fertility experts, who can provide more in-depth information and further advise couples who wish to start a family.
What Else Can You Do?
Of course, monitoring fertility, while useful, does not actively do anything to increase it. Men can take several steps to increase their likelihood of conceiving. First and foremost, doctors recommend regular exercise and a healthy diet. It is also important to keep stress levels to a minimum — something that can prove challenging if couples let failed attempts to get pregnant get to them. Try to relax as often as possible, and keep in mind that a healthy couple ages 29 to 33 only has a one in five or one in four chance of conceiving monthly.
Men’s health and age can have a large bearing on fertility, too. Men can take steps to actively monitor sperm, and remain as healthy — and as fertile — as possible. More like this.