The Effect of Paternal Age on Oocyte Donation Outcomes

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In recent decades, a trend toward delayed childbearing is noted in developed countries. Whereas the effects of maternal age on fertility, pregnancy complications, and postnatal outcomes have been thoroughly explored, consequences of advanced paternal age are less well known. Oocyte donation cycles can be used as an optimal model to analyze the association between male ageing and reproductive outcomes with minimal confounding.


The purpose of this work was to summarize the updated and relevant literature dealing with the effect of paternal age on oocyte donation outcomes.


According to the available evidence from oocyte donation cycles, it seems that no significant association exists between advanced paternal age and fertility. However, this evidence is based on few studies, many of which are of low quality, yielding conflicting results. In addition, the emerging evidence clearly indicates an increased risk of adverse postnatal manifestations of pregnancies conceived by older fathers, including de novo autosomal dominant disorders, impaired neurocognitive development, and increased risk of malignancy.

Conclusions and Relevance

This review may be of aid to medical practitioners in counseling couples on the risks of delayed childbearing.

Target Audience

Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to analyze the paucity of existing literature examining the effect of paternal age on oocyte donation outcomes, understand the mechanisms underlying the increased risk for postnatal disorders associated with advanced male age, and counsel couples on the risks of delayed childbearing.

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