“I’m using an egg donor to have a good, high quality egg, should I be concerned about my partner’s age?” Is there a connection between male age and donor egg pregnancy rates?
That is a totally normal question to ask. You are spending a lot of time and resources finding an egg donor who is perfect for you and you want to ensure you have the highest chance for a positive outcome from your egg donor cycle.
A Spanish group of researchers (Begueria et al., 2013) analyzed 5,089 donor egg cycles to compare the pregnancy outcomes with various ages of men. The age range looked at was 41 plus or minus 6.8 years (Range 34.2 to 47.8 years of age). This study only used egg donors that were in a specific age and BMI (body mass index) range so they were comparable. Also, this study only looked at cycles where ICSI was performed and not natural fertilization. (ICSI is intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, which is a fancy way of saying that an embryologist injected one sperm into each egg).
Male age was associated with a mean decrease in seminal volume of 0.22 ml every 5 years of age (p<0.001), and with a decrease in motile spermatozoa of 1.18% for every 5 years of age (p<0.001); sperm concentration present a mean increase of 3.1 million sperm/ml (p = 0.003). No significant association was found between male age and the mean transferred embryo quality (p = 0.07). Male age was neither associated with biochemical (OR 1.007; CI 0.0959-1.057) or ongoing pregnancy rate (OR 0.983; CI 0.935-1.033), nor with newborn rate (OR 0.984; CI 0.936-1.035).
This study found that seminal parameters (volume, count) do decrease with age. However, paternal age did not have a negative impact on pregnancy rates when young eggs are used.
Vicki Meagher has worked with InVia Fertility Specialists since 2006. She is our Third Party Coordinator, so she works with our patients that need an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or any combination of the above. She recruits and screens the egg donors for our in-house donor program as well. She loves working with intended parents and is passionate about third party reproduction and the important role it plays in helping patients achieve their dream of starting or extending their family. She is a member of SEEDS - the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy.