Because of changes in the society, couples in Western countries are increasingly delaying reproduction. This is accompanied by unhealthy lifestyles that may be detrimental not only to general health but also to reproductive capacity. It is well known that maternal age has detrimental effects on fertility; the paternal influence on this outcome is largely unknown. This study aims to investigate associations between a paternal age below 60 years, lifestyles, and sperm quality. In a periconceptional prospective cohort study we included 227 men undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment. Age at sperm collection, lifestyles, cause of subfertility, ethnicity, sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI; as marker of sperm DNA damage), and sperm parameters were determined. Linear regression analyses showed a positive association between a rising age from 26 to 59 years and DFI (P ≤ .01) and an inverse association with ejaculate volume (P ≤ .05). Inverse associations were determined between DFI and all conventional sperm parameters (all P ≤ .01). There were no associations between smoking, alcohol use, body mass index, and DFI and sperm parameters. Dutch men compared to migrants, however, showed a higher DFI (P ≤ .05) independent of lifestyles. We conclude that the trend of delaying fatherhood in men undergoing IVF or ICSI treatment is detrimental to sperm quality. Copyright

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International Journal of Andrology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hammiche, F., Laven, J., Boxmeer, J., Dohle, G., Steegers-Theunissen, R., & Steegers-Theunissen, R. (2011). Sperm quality decline among men below 60 years of age undergoing IVF or ICSI treatment. International Journal of Andrology, 32(1), 70–76. doi:10.2164/jandrol.109.009647