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Male age interferes with embryo growth in IVF treatment.

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

STUDY QUESTION: Does male age affect embryo growth or quality in couples undergoing IVF treatment?SUMMARY ANSWER: Advanced paternal age (APA) is negatively associated with the chance of an optimal eight-cell embryo on thethird day of development.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Literature shows that APA is associated with decreased sperm quality and fecundity. However, theeffect of male age on embryo growth in an IVF setting remains inconclusive. Literature concerning male influences on IVF success is scarceand approaches used to analyse embryo outcomes differ by study.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This study was part of the longitudinal Epigenetic Legacy of Paternal Obesity (ELPO) study forwhich fathers and mothers were followed from pre-pregnancy until the birth of their child. Couples were recruited from April 2015 toSeptember 2017. A total of 1057 embryos from 87 couples were studied.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Dutch-speaking couples planning to undergo an IVF treatment wererecruited at the Leuven University Fertility Center in Flanders, Belgium. Anthropometrics were documented and compared to the generalFlemish population. Semen characteristics, pregnancy rates and the following embryo characteristics were recorded: number ofblastomeres, symmetry and percentage fragmentation. Statistical modelling was applied taking into account correlation of within-cycleoutcomes and use of multiple cycles per couple.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: We observed a significant inverse association between APA and a key determinantfor scoring of embryo quality: older men were less likely to produce an embryo of eight blastomeres at Day 3, compared to youngerfathers; odds ratio for the effect of 1 year equals 0.960 (95% CI: 0.930–0.991; P=0.011). Our finding remained significant after adjustingfor female age and male and female BMI. Degree of fragmentation and symmetry were not significantly related to male age.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Because of the study’s small sample size and its monocentric nature, a larger study iswarranted to confirm our results. In addition, distribution of BMI and level of education were not representative of the general Flemishpopulation. Although we corrected for BMI status, we do not exclude that obesity may be one of the determinants of infertility in ourstudy population. Furthermore, it is known from other European countries that a higher education eases access to fertility treatment.Hence, caution should be taken when interpreting our findings from a fertility setting to the general population.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: We suggest a heightened need for future research into male age and its potentialeffects on embryo growth, embryo quality and ART outcomes. Clinical decision-making and preventative public health programmes wouldbenefit from a better understanding of the role of men, carried forward by the Paternal Origins of Health and Disease (POHaD) paradigm.We hope the current finding will encourage others to examine the role of the sperm epigenome in embryo development according topaternal age.
Tijdschrift: Human Reproduction
ISSN: 0268-1161
Issue: 1
Volume: 36
Pagina's: 1 - 10
Aantal pagina's: 10
Jaar van publicatie:2020