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Infertility: The ticking of Daddy's biological clock
A study connects men's age to pregnancy failures.
W

hat happened
Pregnancy and miscarriage rates are directly affected by the age of the father, according to a new study. French researchers observed 21,000 cases of artificial insemination, and found that pregnancies were more likely to fail for couples in which the man was over 40. (Reuters)

What the commentators said
"Finally," said maternity researcher Meredith Nash on her blog The Baby Bump Project, "women and their supposedly shriveled ovaries" have someone to share the blame for infertility. Perhaps now "the myth of the eternally virile 'older' man may be put to rest."

"In fact, male infertility is quite common," said Valerie Ulene in the Los Angeles Times. Males are solely responsible for 20 percent of infertility cases and partially responsible for 40 to 50 percent, but many men go undiagnosed and untreated, because everyone focuses on women and men are reluctant to get help.

This seems like a big study, said people attending a fertility clinic and undergoing artificial insemination may not say much that will be useful to the rest of us. Perhaps it's time for a "massive," long-term study of the general population.

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